Vendors are set to move into Hamilton’s newly renovated Farmers’ Market on the 20th of January, but it hasn’t been an easy move. Controversy swirled late last year as several long term vendors had their application refused or termed incomplete. A group of concerned community members calling themselves the Friends of the Hamilton Farmers Market emerged to support the vendors through the crisis period. Friends of the Hamilton Farmers’ Market member Jennifer Hompoth drafted this letter to Anna Bradford, the culture division director of the city’s community service department as well as members of the Hamilton Farmers’ Market Transition Sub-Committee, outlining the Friends’ concerns about the vendor application process including its accessibility. At the heart of their concerns was the city’s new point system which favoured local farmers, “at the expense of anyone, or anything, which appears to be ‘foreign/imported/other.'” To be sure, this is a many layered issue and on today’s episode of the HJRC we speak with Friends of the Hamilton Farmers’ Market members Jeanette Eby and Matt Thompson about some of those complexities. In particular, we take a look at the disproportionate health impact that a move away from low-cost, quality produce could have on residents of the downtown core. We also take a look at what the market means for the health of the community. Listen here.
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