With fewer stalls in a renovated Farmers' Market, the City will prioritize which vendors can still fit with a scoring system that encourages local farmers over wholesalers.
By Ryan McGreal
Published September 13, 2010
The City will have to make some tough decisions about which Farmers' Market stallholders can fit in the renovated Market when it re-opens.
According to a report presented to the Emergency and Community Services Committee meeting on Wednesday, September 8, 2010, the Market currently holds 172 stalls, but the renovated market will only hold 146 interior stalls. On Saturdays with weather permitting, the Market will be able to hold an additional 10-15 stalls outside with partial closure of York Blvd.
According to the report, which was prepared by the Farmers' Market Transition Sub-Committee, new building code requirements for separate vender washrooms and additional fire doors, as well as the need for a community kitchen, have consumed 2,600 square feet of stall space.
Based on the waiting list of 70 prospective vendors trying to get into the Market, we could have up to 240 stalls if there was enough room to accommodate them all.
The sub-committee considered a few options for prioritizing access to the smaller set of permanent stalls, but Councillor Robert Pasuta (Ward 14, Flamborough) proposed the following motion to prioritize local farmers:
That, given the desire to further the Hamilton Farmers' Market as a "farmers" market, the selection criteria for stallholders and stall location selection will first consider local farmers, growers and food producers.
The current stallholder leases will be up on December 31, 2010. Councillor Brian McHattie, a member of the committee, explains that existing stallholders will need to reapply for a space (along with prospective vendors applying for a new space), and the city will evaluate the applications "using a scoring system that encourages farmers and local food."
with files from Jason Leach