State Farmers Markets assist in the marketing of farm products by providing information, leadership modern marketing facilities necessary to move farm products from the farm to the consumer. By providing a convenient, dependable place through which producers and buyers may carry on the process of marketing, this helps assure the consumer receives a better quality product at a reasonable price and the producer receives a fair return.
The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services operates a system of 13 State Farmers' Markets. These markets that offer attendant services such as produce refrigeration, truck weigh scales, packing houses, coolers, offices, farm supply, restaurants, and produce brokerage sales as well as produce and freight shipping companies. Through volume production and marketing, effective competition is assured for both small and large growers and buyers.
The markets generally are active on a seasonal basis, operating up to 24 hours daily. Self-supporting, other than the capital investment, these markets are maintained through income derived from a combination of package fees, packing house, cooler and offices rentals and truck scale fees.
More than 25 million units of fresh fruits and vegetables valued at more than $225 million are annually sold through the markets. Nearly a billion units of fresh fruits and vegetables valued at more than $5.5 billion have been sold through the State Farmers' Markets since the first one opened in 1935.