I’m posting a letter that has been sent out concerning Local Farmers’ Markets. It was written by Clyde Greenhouse, of Kessler Cookies (and me). This is an important local issue for small business owners.
Recently, the Celebration Restaurant Farmer’s Market was shut down by the City of Dallas for lacking the proper permitting. And according to the manager of the food protection division, they intend to ‘root out’ other similar local Farmers’ Markets, like this one.
The problem is this City Staff is supposed to be our servants. They’re paid, by us, to benefit the public. Often, they do this well. But these Farmers’ Markets have been very popular, and the City Staff now finds itself in direct opposition to what the public seemingly wants. It’s not feasible nor practicable for these markets to meet the permitting requirements, that were drawn up with nothing like them in mind.
The claim is that they are protecting our food from a ‘strong possibility’ of cross-contamination and from wide-spread outbreaks of bacteria, etc. Protection? Who defines ‘protection’, and when we need it? Strong Possibility? Honestly? How many small local farmers’ markets has this been a problem for? And where do we draw the line on how much protection we need? Can the city shut down my neighborhood backyard barbeque because I left my ketchup in an ice cooler as opposed to mechanical refrigeration.
Of course we want these markets to be safe! Our business depends on that. But at these markets, the owner and farmers are there… they are present. This isn’t McDonald’s or Tom Thumb, where the person serving you has no clue about the food they’re selling. If you want to know how the farmer’s eggs have been stored, then ask him, or watch what he pulls them out of. If you are not comfortable with his answer, then don’t buy it.
Further information on the subject:
Celebration Market Info and Petition
Dallas Shutters Rogue Farmers’ Markets
Dallas News Article
Enough of my ranting… Here’s the letter, followed by short list of City Councilpeople, please take some action with us:
Save a Local Farmers’ Market & Save a Local Small Business!
As small business owners in the City of Dallas, local farmers’ markets have provided us with an economical means of reaching potential customers in a very volatile business climate. As traditional methods of selling decline, local farmers’ markets have paved new avenues and bestowed a closer connection to customers. Going beyond the one-on-one with consumers, shopping at local farmers’ market benefits local businesses and strengthens our local communities. When you buy produce and products directly from a farmer or vendor, they benefit by cutting out cost like transportation and middle-men. These cost savings are reinvested in our local economy.
But now, local farmers’ markets are in danger of being shut down in the City of Dallas, as our antiquated permitting process has not caught up with the way we live today…locally. Please contact your City Council member and ask them to “quickly develop a permitting process to save our local farmers’ markets” and help save local small businesses.
Thank you for your support.
Kessler Cookie Company
Oak Cliff Coffee Roasters
District 1 – Councilwoman Delia Jasso (214) 670-4052
District 3 – Councilman David A. Neumann (214) 670-0776
District 14 – Councilwoman Angela Hunt (214) 670-5415
District 2 – Deputy Mayor Pro Tem Pauline Medrano (214) 670-4048
District 13 – Councilwoman Ann Margolin (214) 670-3816