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Consumers Deserve a Seat


Thursday, January 3, 2013
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As far as I know, there is still no position on the board of the Santa Barbara Certified Farmers Market Association that represents the interests of the citizens of Santa Barbara and local consumers – even though we supply the space for the markets to operate. As the plaintiffs in the Santa Rita Flower Farm (erroneously called Santa Barbara Flower Farm in the Indy article) lawsuit against the association point out, many of the board seats appear to be held by larger, non-local growers who don’t represent the interests of either small, local farmers or consumers. Something needs to change if we are to realize our community’s goal of providing the best, most affordable, and truly local fresh food to Santa Barbarans. Right now, many of us are fooled into thinking we’re supporting local farmers by shopping at farmers markets, when that’s not always the case.

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Independent Discussion Guidelines

For those interested in this Article, here are the contact methods:
Santa Barbara Certified Farmers Market Association
232 Anacapa St, Suite 1A
Santa Barbara CA 93101
Ph (805) 962-5354 • Fax (805) 962-1435
Sam Edelman, General Manager: sbcfma@rain.org

Aaron Young, Operations Manager: aaron@sbfarmersmarket.org

See weekly schedule for market days and directions
Need applications; http://www.sbfarmersmarket.org/events...

Download forms; http://www.sbfarmersmarket.org/forms.php

dou4now (anonymous profile)
January 3, 2013 at 7:47 a.m. (Suggest removal)

I skimmed over the lawsuit here:

http://christmankelley.info/wp-conten...

It was interesting to read that some of the arguably powerful board members are also sellers in the market. That seems like a defect in the structure of the board.

In the corporate world, members of the board are selected from unrelated companies to avoid conflicts of interest. For example, Apple would never have one of it's suppliers on its board - that would be idiotic.

Also interesting that only 20% of the farmers at the SB Farmers Market are certified organic. I had expected a much higher number given that farmers markets are one of the few outlets small organic farmers have for selling their produce.

EastBeach (anonymous profile)
January 3, 2013 at 12:10 p.m. (Suggest removal)

It does seem awkward that local farmers are squeezed out by farmers from the San Joaquin Valley. The rules should favor smaller local farmers IMO.

Often it seems like their are extra spaces unfilled, or perhaps that's just in the winter months.

Georgy (anonymous profile)
January 3, 2013 at 10:02 p.m. (Suggest removal)

The problem with some of the smaller, local farmers is that their output does not support a full booth every week. Perhaps a single, large, multiple grower area with commensurate fees could be established to give the seasonal and low volume producers a venue into this unbelievable lucrative environment.
And yea, these lil' farmers markets are nothing but big business under the guise of some soft and cuddly image; it's a business using public property and should have a board without inherent self interest.

italiansurg (anonymous profile)
January 7, 2013 at 11:09 a.m. (Suggest removal)

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