This study assesses the barriers to the growth and security of farmers’ markets as part of the food system in British Columbia. Farmers’ markets have increased from 60 to 100 in the province since 2000. However, several barriers reduce the ability of vendors or farmers’ markets from supplying the full demand for locally grown and value-added food. The most significant barriers are that farmers’ markets are viewed as a special event as opposed to a bona fide sector of the food system and the insecurity of approved public or private locations. These barriers are unique to vendors and farmers’ market managers and societies. The findings are supported by surveys, elite interviews, and reviews of federal, provincial, and local government policies relating to the marketing of local food in B.C. This study develops and evaluates policy options to resolve the barriers in legislation and regulation at all levels of government.
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