Supporting Farmers Markets in Virginia
The Virginia Farmers Market Association (VAFMA) is a 501(c)3 non-profit, member-based, statewide association. VAFMA’s mission is to support farmers and farmers markets through education initiatives, while building opportunities for collaboration, networking, advocacy, and innovation.
Virginia’s 265+ farmers markets provide vital access to locally grown, nutrient dense food. They offer short supply chains, safe shopping experiences, and direct access to farmers and food producers. They keep local farms and small food producers in business – a role that is critical to food security, especially in times of international crisis. Farmers markets strengthen our local food systems, which are more important than ever for community health, the local economy, and the environment—today, and in the recovery ahead.
Since 2010, VAFMA has been the primary advocate, resource, and guide for Virginia’s farmers markets. Over the years, we have built our reputation and reach expanding to all regions of the Commonwealth. The strength of this network was tested during the past year. Like many organizations, farmers markets had to pivot quickly during the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. They were forced to up end their operations and dramatically alter their policies while at the same time defending their essential status to their communities.
During this time, VAFMA was there for farmers market staff and vendors offering training sessions, best practices, and networking calls. We answered their questions and connected them with the resources they needed. We were their liaison with state and local government, advocating to keep markets open and deemed essential. With your support, we will continue to be there for farmers markets in the years to come – keeping them open and thriving in Virginia.