Since our formation in 2006, the Michigan Farmers Market Association’s mission has always been to connect Michigan consumers to local food and to support the viability of Michigan farmers while doing so. Farmers markets were, and continue to be, an essential part of accomplishing this goal. Now, in 2023, farmers market staff and farmers are working far beyond their market tents to form new pathways in local and regional food systems. These initiatives, such as food box programs and mobile markets, have been critically important in increasing access to fresh, local food to all Michiganders.
In acknowledgement of these efforts, MIFMA has developed a new mission statement to accurately reflect the scope of our work:
“MIFMA places equity at the forefront of supporting the viability of community-driven marketplaces so that they can connect ALL consumers to local farms and businesses.”
We are defining community-driven marketplaces as farmers markets and other programs directly facilitating the exchange between consumers and producers of local food and farm products. Farmers markets will remain at the heart of our work, as over 98% of all Michiganders live in a county with at least one farmers market. At the same time, we believe in the power of new and additional strategies to increase fresh, local food access to an even greater population.
This new mission statement also puts our dedication to equity at the forefront of our work. We will continue to ensure that both internally and externally, MIFMA is an actively anti-racist organization that makes a committed and transparent effort to advance equity in the farmers market sector and in the Michigan food system as a whole. Our investment in this area is a part of who we are and will always be.