Economic Impact Analysis of Farmers’ Markets in the Washington, DC Metropolitan Area: Evidence of a Circular Economy
- Measure the economic contribution of farmers’ markets using economic impact analysis to the economy of the Washington DC metropolitan area;
- Develop a preliminary assessment of the application of the concepts of the circular economy as it pertains to farmers’ markets in the Washington DC metropolitan area.
1.1. Literature on Economic Impacts of Farmers’ Markets and the Circular Economy
Economic Impacts of Farmers’ Markets
1.2. The Circular Economy and Sustainability
1.3. Circular Economy and Food Production
- Using regenerative techniques to grow food and, where appropriate, locally;
- Improving food distribution, food waste, and waste management;
- Designing and marketing healthier food choices to consumers in terms of nutritional value and how the food is produced.
1.4. Framers’ Markets Impact on the Circular Economy
2. Materials and Methods
- The number of times attending farmers’ markets;
- The amount spent at the farmers’ markets;
- The commodities purchased at farmers’ markets.
- ▪ Economic Impacts and Multipliers
- Direct effects are the purchases made by the customers shopping at the farmers’ markets.
- Indirect effects are the purchases of supplies and services that are provided to farmers’ market producers and its vendors when the workers in the direct industry (the farmers markets) and those in the indirect industries (the supplying producers/vendors for the farmers’ markets) convert their labor income into household spending.
- Household spending induces a third round of economic activity. These induced activities provide increased sales of all other businesses, e.g., retail stores in the area, because there is more spending in the metropolitan Washington, DC area resulting from the income generated by households from the direct and indirect activities from the farmers’ markets.
- ▪ Economic Impact Multipliers
- ▪ Adjustment of IMPLAN Estimates
- We collected the percentage of shoppers attending farmers’ markets across the U.S. and used an average of these estimates from the literature. We established the low-point participation (2.14%), high-point participation (4.58%), and mid-point participation (3.05%).
- We estimated the percentage of shoppers attending farmers’ markets by estimating the regression of the number of farmers’ markets in each region (Table 3) onto the percentage of shoppers in the region found in the literature. We inserted the number of farmers’ markets in the DC metropolitan region, which was 154, into the regression equation to obtain an estimate for our study area.
- We calculated the growth rates from the originally published estimates to the updated estimates. The new estimates were:
- 2.8637%, the average of the four regions without Ontario, Canada—the lower bound using the adjusted ratio;
- 4.1256%, the predicted value for DC based on the estimation of a regression of the number of farmers’ markets in the region onto the percentage of shoppers in the region;
- 5.5113%, the ratio of Iowa of consumers to population—the upper bound used the adjusted ratio.
4.1. Qualitative Data of the Possible Presence of a Circular Economy in DC Farmers’ Markets
4.2. Settings and Participants
4.4. Data Collection
4.5. Themes Related to a Possible Circular Economy
- Theme 1: Improving Health by Having Access to Healthy Food Choices
I think part of the problem too is you don’t know what you are cooking so then you don’t know how to cook it. And that will address your body mass index (BMI) because that is an educational component related to fresh fruit and vegetables. I think it would be a good idea if you had an event where you had some type of cooking show. We could plan it out like seasons of Top Chef and actually sign up to be on the cooking show. The Chef working with two other people from the community and actually learn how to cook these things and compete additionally that would be a good way to teach the community.
No, in the bigger scheme of things, it puts a bandage on a huge problem. These two grocery stores here are supposed to feed 100,000 people for this Ward, so if you bring in a couple of farmers markets, it is not going to help the bigger problem because the grocery store has more to offer other than fruits and vegetables, things like meat.
In low-income communities, everyone is busy, so we had discussed one time how to prepare the vegetables, cut them up, or make a package with a label on it showing people how to cook them so it can be quick and easy. Packaging it up to look friendly would be easier for the community, or we need to say this will cook in 7 min. Whether you are low-income or middle class, you are still spending money on food, so it is not like they don’t have the money for food. It is just a lot of the times they just don’t want to deal with it because it is not quick and easy for them.
I am really hyping it up; you know its pesticide free, and there are the health benefits. I have a standard price, and when people start to walk away, I really want them to buy the food, and I do not want to take it home. Also, I want people to experience the difference in taste and the health benefits for them to come back. They do come back, but they do not want to pay more.
- Theme 2: Strategies in Developing Financially Sustainable Farmers’ Markets in Low to Moderate-Income Communities
- Availability of seasonal produce and quality and variety;
- Friendliness of the vendors, interacting with new people, and a sense of community;
- Seasonal fruits and vegetables;
I work in FreshFarm and our mission is to support farmers. We also need programs that help people access food. Farmers set their prices; perhaps it is a reasonable price based off the work they put into growing it. But it’s not necessarily a price point that a lot of people can access, and then the solution that we turn to is like developing our programs. I think they are very confusing to explain to people. I practice whatever speech I get and practice how to say it; I just try to keep it as simple as possible. For farmers to participate in some of these things, they want to do so, but it’s like another bureaucratic process to go through to be certified in some of these programs. Then, I think part of our problem as well is we are not in places where people are in most need, so we can’t convey information about our programs most effectively at times.
I think that there is an issue with site selection. Do we systematically have a consensus if the community wants the farmers’ market, or is there a higher priority for an online delivery service or something? I just wonder sometime when we start markets, do we start them for different reasons? Like, sometimes there is a property developer that wants to bring more people to this space, and we think a farmers’ market will draw them there?
The reason me and my wife go to farmers’ markets is for a sense of community. Perhaps the communities work a different way, being tied to the community and working with the churches, schools, or other mechanisms. It’s a meet and greet, and I get to meet farmers I have never met before. Farmers’ markets can’t stand alone; they need to be a part of the community, and it’s more than just selling.
It’s good but not self-sustaining financially. If you look at the data for SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) and the Produce Plus and you add it up, you can see that it is concentrated. Actually, FreshFarms told me that the redemption of SNAP benefits at Dupont Market exceed what they get out of Dupont. That means all the markets throughout the city on SNAP are taking those benefits and taking them to Dupont market because that is the best market. That means Dupont must subsidize the cost, so the benefits need to be spread throughout the other markets. The success of the Columbia Heights market and the Crossroads market is due to their partners in the community by developing a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) share for the elderly residents who can’t walk to the market.
- Theme 3: Market Characteristics of Farmers’ Markets
- Diversity of the growers, be accepted in the community by the consumers;
- Hire from the community, involving people in the immediate area, and working with the growers;
Institutional Review Board Statement
Informed Consent Statement
Data Availability Statement
Conflicts of Interest
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|Gross Regional Product (USD)||580,779,309,002|
|Total Personal Income (USD)||463,617,884,800|
|Number of Industries (NAICS)||464|
|Land Area (sq. miles)||7733|
|Counties in Study Area||22|
|Average Household Income (USD)||180,917|
|Commodity||Annualized Dollar Amount (USD)|
|Cheese and Butter||174,061.80|
|Fish and Seafood||410,392.58|
|Citation||Farmers’ Markets from Study||Consumers from Study||Population from Study||Ratio of Consumers and Population|
|||East and South LA||25||1789||226,458||0.790%|
|Citation (1)||Region (2)||Number of Farmers’ Markets (3)||Consumers from Study (4)||Population of Study (5)||Ratio of Consumers to Population (6)||Number of Farmers’ Markets, 2017 (7)||Growth Rate of Farmers’ Markets 1 (8)||Adjusted Ratios Using Growth Rates 2 (9)|
|||East and South LA||25||1789||226,458||0.79%||33||0.32||1.04%|
|Impact Type||Employment||Labor Income (in USD)||Value-Added (in USD)||Output (in USD)|
|Impact Type||Employment||Labor Income||Value Added||Output|
|Impact Type||Employment||Labor Income||Value-Added||Output|
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Zendehdel, K.; Sloboda, B.W.; Horner, E.C. Economic Impact Analysis of Farmers’ Markets in the Washington, DC Metropolitan Area: Evidence of a Circular Economy. Sustainability 2021, 13, 7333. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13137333
Zendehdel K, Sloboda BW, Horner EC. Economic Impact Analysis of Farmers’ Markets in the Washington, DC Metropolitan Area: Evidence of a Circular Economy. Sustainability. 2021; 13(13):7333. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13137333Chicago/Turabian Style
Zendehdel, Kamran, Brian W. Sloboda, and Eric Chad Horner. 2021. "Economic Impact Analysis of Farmers’ Markets in the Washington, DC Metropolitan Area: Evidence of a Circular Economy" Sustainability 13, no. 13: 7333. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13137333