BUSINESS + ECONOMY

Salt Lake leaders launch the 2021 Farmers’ Market

Jun 2, 2021, 6:58 PM
salt lake farmers' market...
(Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall looking over the work of artisans Melody and Kurt Bellock. Photo: Kristin Murphy, Deseret News)
(Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall looking over the work of artisans Melody and Kurt Bellock. Photo: Kristin Murphy, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY – The mayor of Salt Lake City kicked off the official launch of the 2021 Farmers’ Market, and organizers are happy to be able to expand from last year’s. 

The COVID-19 pandemic severely limited what organizers of the Salt lake Farmers’ Market could do, but it didn’t shut it down, completely. However, they weren’t allowed to have live musicians, arts and crafts demonstrations or prepare food to serve.

2021 Salt Lake Farmers’ Market

So, to celebrate this year’s market, Urban Food Connections of Utah Executive Director Alison Einerson reported they’re expanding. Although they’re not quite at normal capacity, yet.

“We’re still here 30 years later. We survived last year. It was tough, but we did it,” Einerson said.

This year, the market will have 180 food vendors and 60 local artists selling their wares every Saturday, starting this weekend. Food trucks will also be brought back, and people will be able to eat at Pioneer Park like they could before the pandemic. 

Salt Lake Chamber President Derek Miller said they’ll also increase their efforts to limit the spread of COVID-19.

The farmers’ market during the pandemic

Miller said, “This year’s market will provide extra spacing, hand washing stations and sanitizer to maintain their commitment to remaining safe and remaining open.”

State agriculture officials reported local markets are crucial to food producers since they can’t always rely on retail chains to keep them afloat. 

According to Utah Department of Agriculture and Food Commissioner Craig Buttars, the pandemic showed how fragile food supply lines can be. Many local growers needed help selling their products when the pandemic first started. 

Buttars said, “I had so many calls from producers saying, ‘Where can I send flour?  Where can I send eggs?  Where can I send milk during COVID?’”

Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall said the farmers’ markets aren’t just important so customers can get fresh food. 

She believes vendors need these markets to expand their customer base and network with other producers.

“The dollars you spend on our local economy stay in our local economy many times fold that which you would buy at a corporate retail store,” she said.

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Salt Lake leaders launch the 2021 Farmers’ Market