Farmers Market Privatization Misses Initial Transition Goal: Stakeholders Still Optimistic

Categories: Food News

Farmers-market-late-spring.JPG
Yellow squash and other summer vegetables are starting to show up at the market.
When the city approved the Farmers Market Group's proposal for privatizing the Dallas Farmers Market, May 31 was listed as the official date for the transition. Last Friday, at a meeting that included city officials and representatives from the group, that transition was postponed. A new target date of June 17 has been issued.

See also:
- Produce Dealers to Help Round Out Farmers Market for One-Stop Shopping

Ron King, the executive director of the Dallas Convention Center, was quick to say the transition toward privatization has not derailed. King said a number of issues were not sufficiently in order to complete the transition, including financing and insurance policies. "This type of thing is common in commercial real estate deals," he said. "They really are minor issues."

Tanya Reagan, president of the Farmers Market Stakeholder's Association, was still very optimistic about the transition. "That's a good thing," she said when asked about the delay. "The city is taking the step to make sure everything is done right."

For the next two weeks the market will remain under the direction of the Convention Center and managed by Cindy Alvarado. Meanwhile, all remaining Dallas Convention Center staff assigned to the market have been relocated or have retired. The cashiers whom farmers and vendors interact with to pay fees associated with operating at the market had to be rehired from a temp agency.

Still the market seemed to run as usual this weekend, and Debbie Bozeman, the president of The Dallas Farmers Market Friends, remains upbeat as well. "Unless there is a huge shift in the day-to-day operations, our customers won't know the difference," she said.


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14 comments
DCGThomas
DCGThomas

June 17 - The day one of the very few remaining "publicly-owned" Farmers Markets in the country no longer belongs to us.  :(  

Still, I remain optimistic that this deal is in the best interest of the Market.  Maybe the new corporate ownership can accomplish what the City of Dallas has never been willing to do.

Myrna.Minkoff-Katz
Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

"Our customers won't know the difference"......???

You mean like when I picked out and paid for a beautiful cauliflower, only to get home and pull a sad-ass brown vegetable out of my bag that the vendor switched on me.  Not nice.

primi_timpano
primi_timpano topcommenter

The local shed needs to tighten up. Lots of wholesaled produce is being sold there, much of it from Cali and FL.

dfmfriends10
dfmfriends10

@Myrna.Minkoff-Katz  - Hi Myrna...please come see me at the SNAP office in the admin bldg. I'm not management or anything but I want to make sure that Market customers are getting the best produce--farmer OR reseller. I would like to help right that 'wrong'. And only if the vendor is told that he was reported for letting lesser quality to go out can we change things. - Debbie Bozeman, Pres. DFMFriends

scott.reitz
scott.reitz moderator

@Twinwillow @primi_timpano There are a lot of political issues that make change at the market very difficult. While working on my Farmers Market story I met a woman who used to be a farmer, but had to switch to produce resale when her husband died and she couldn't work her land anymore.

A lot of people have built businesses over decades in those sheds. Removing then is a lot more complicated than covering rent.

TheCredibleHulk
TheCredibleHulk topcommenter

@scott.reitz @Twinwillow @primi_timpano 

Really not that complex. I feel for that woman that resells produce, there, but there is really just one question to ask and answer, and then act accordingly to realize that vision.

Is it a Farmer's Market or a Produce Market?

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