Farm to table has become increasingly popular over the years. Direct Farm Manitoba is a member-owned cooperative of direct marketing farmers and farmers’ markets. Formerly known as the Farmers’ Market Association of MB, Direct Farm MB was created to also include direct marketing farms in their membership, providing a unified voice for the small-scale direct marketing sector.
The goal of Direct Farm Manitoba is to support members in achieving fairness within the industry and maximizing their opportunities for economic stability. They do this by connecting farmers with the community through a variety of initiatives, one being their newly launched map feature. “Our map feature provides community members with an easy to access portal to small-scale producers and farmers’ markets across Manitoba, providing direct links to farm and market websites and online stores, as well as to profiles of farms and markets,” says Kristie Beynon, Executive Director of Direct Farm Manitoba.
When it comes to connecting the community to farms, it’s a win-win for everyone. “When people can see where their food is coming from, and make that connection with the farmer, it is a step forward in securing a local resilient food system,” says Beynon. This was particularly evident during the current COVID-19 pandemic. Concerns over broken supply chains drove up interest in local food while highlighting the need to build a stronger local food system. “Direct Farm Manitoba was quick to the table to make sure that farmers’ markets were declared essential services, providing a venue for our producers and an important source for local food for the community,” says Beynon.
The connection between community and farm provides a beneficial link between rural and urban communities, offering people the opportunity to access fresh, local food and participate in the local food system. At the same time, it ensures rural communities are supported as their farmers make connections to a wider marketplace.
For more information on Direct Farm Manitoba and to check out their new interactive map feature.