Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Produce and Local Products: Coming to a Indoor Permanent Market Soon

Set up just outside one of the former Fulton Fish Market buildings by a nonprofit group called New Amsterdam Public, the one-day event was meant in part to build support for a permanent indoor public market selling pristine local food. Similar events are planned for the spring and summer.

Many New Yorkers have to piece together a cook’s pantry from Chinatown shops, farmers’ markets, FreshDirect, Fairway and other stores. Soon New Yorkers may be able to have a large, permanent market with local and seasonal produce, cheesemongers, butchers and a selection of staples including canned vegetables, oil, and granola. We may start to see this happen. For one thing, the infrastructure for getting local farm products into the city is about to change drastically. In a speech in December Gov. Eliot Spitzer told the New York Farm Bureau that ground would be broken this year on a wholesale farmers’ market somewhere near the massive wholesale food complex in the Hunts Point section of the Bronx. The governor called it the Pride of New York Wholesalers’ Market, but it would also sell food grown in surrounding states. A big, modern warehouse with good storage facilities and a steady stream of buyers could assure schools, hospitals and grocery stores of a reliable supply of local produce. And it could finally give local farmers a new way to bring their produce to town, particularly those with midsize farms of 50 to 200 acres. Selling wholesale could work for growers who are too small to make direct deals with big chains or not specialized enough for a stall at one of the city’s 46 Greenmarkets.

Lots of debate about who,where, what, and when, but it seems like there is a move to finally provide a one-stop center for all your local needs!

Source: Michelle V. Agins, NYTimes

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