Yesterday, City Council voted unanimously to move forward with the Dallas Farmers Market privatization, news that was undoubtedly cheered by many stakeholders with interest in the development and marketing project.
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Blair Black is one of those stakeholders. He represents the Dallas Farmers Market Trust, the group charged with managing vendors as they transition from their existing locations into sheds 3 and 4 this fall, and finally into a newly renovated (and car-free) shed 1 the following spring. While the farmers market proposal has a strong emphasis on the local farmers and farm merchants, produce dealers will still participate in the future farmers market after the privatization is carried out.
Historically there's been a bit of animosity between local farmers who travel to Dallas and sell their own products, and produce vendors who buy their wares wholesale to turn over for a profit. Will the two be able to co-exist in the new shed 1?
"We think that there's a place for both," Black said, noting that a challenging Texas growing season makes it hard for local farmers to keep the sheds filled. He's also aiming for a wide selection of products for the new farmers market. "We don't [locally] have pineapples and avocados and other products that consumers like and want."
Black's group is hoping a mix of farmers and produce vendors will help the new Dallas Farmers Market provide a one-stop shop for customers looking to buy produce and vegetables. "Our focus is to find a nice balance between farmers and vendors to supply everything we can for the consumers." he said.