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  • Dan Best

  • Laura Avery

  • Jim Mills

Organic agriculture: Voices

Published: Sunday, Sep. 23, 2012 - 12:00 am | Page 3E

"Certified farmers markets show a face to consumers that is a real face, not a corporate face. … The future of small-acreage growers and the survival of small-acreage farms may be to expand sales to restaurants and the already-prepared food industry. We need more restaurant menu items to identify locally sourced ingredients or at least California sourced, and we need customers to demand such knowledge."

– Dan Best, general counsel for the California Federation of Certified Farmers Markets and coordinator of certified farmers markets in Sacramento


"Ninety-nine percent of food consumed in the U.S. is marketed through conventional distribution channels, leaving just 1 percent of what we get from other sources, including farmers markets, farm stands and farmers themselves. … The only way to get flavor is to get fully mature fruit, and the only way to get that is to get it from the farmer. When you are buying at a farmers market, you are paying the farmer. At the grocery store, who are you paying? The grocery store. The farmer is getting only a small fraction of what you pay there."

– Laura Avery, supervisor of the Santa Monica Farmers Market since 1982


"We went from an agricultural to an industrial society, and in time some elements of that industrial society weighed on people. An alignment of chefs, farmers and interested consumers spearheaded the farm-to-table movement. This combination clicked. Smaller farms began to increase in number. Interest in organic farming grew, and what was once good was good again."

– Jim Mills, a former chef, and now sales manager for Sacramento's Produce Express, a wholesale distributor of fresh fruit and vegetables

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