The Michigan Farmers Market Association (MIFMA) and Taste the Local Difference (TLD) have a long history of supporting the local food community in Michigan. In 2017, the organizations began partnering to exchange service benefits, providing, even more, support to the state’s local farms and farmers markets. Participating members/partners of either organization now receive reduced rates on services from the other.
MIFMA was established in 2006 as a statewide association to promote local food consumption in Michigan by connecting more farmers to consumers through farmers markets. In the last ten years, the number of farmers markets in Michigan has grown from around 90 in 2001 to more than 300 today. The organization is a leader in providing educational programming for farmers and farmers market managers. MIFMA has also helped propel Michigan to become a national leader in accepting Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Bridge Cards at farmers markets, creating a path for vulnerable families to access nutritious local foods.
Taste the Local Difference is Michigan’s Local Food Marketing Agency, committed to offering affordable marketing services to the state’s farms, farmers markets and other local food businesses. In addition to their searchable online directory that networks local food buyers and sellers, TLD produces an annual print edition of their Guide to Local Food and Farms. These regional guides are distributed for free as a community resource throughout 47 counties in Michigan and growing. TLD educates consumers and promotes the importance of local food and agriculture in an effort to help the entire state realize the economic, social, environmental benefits of local food.
The specifics of this exchange of benefits is detailed as follows:
• MIFMA members will now receive a 15% discount on Taste the Local Difference Marketing Products & Services, including listings in the Guide to Local Food and individual content promotion within TLD’s consumer-focused e-newsletter.
• TLD Partners will receive discounted MIFMA member rates for educational sessions, workshops, and their annual Michigan Farmers Market Conference.
This exchange will allow more Michigan farms and farmers markets to benefit from the expertise and support of these two organizations. MIFMA and TLD are thrilled to develop a more collaborative partnership and look forward to the impact it will generate.