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.
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."
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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.