Updated Mission Sets Course for PCFMA
At the beginning of June, the PCFMA Board of Directors officially set the organization on a new path by unanimously endorsing a new mission statement:
The Pacific Coast Farmers’ Market Association supports California farmers and communities by providing farmers’ markets for our diverse Bay Area neighborhoods
This new mission statement caps off a process that began in January 2020, when Board members and PCFMA staff leaders met in Napa for a strategic planning session. The energy and excitement that emerged from that meeting, along with the draft mission statement that had been developed, were soon subsumed by the immediate crisis of the COVID-19 pandemic. Over the next two years, the rapid-fire changes in market safety protocols and the ensuing crises of the economic downturn, wildfires, and civic unrest, all combined to require PCFMA to operate in a crisis-response mode. It wasn’t until early this year that the future seemed predictable enough for PCFMA’s leadership to again return to planning for the future, rather than simply reacting to the present.
Meeting in March of this year in Half Moon Bay, PCFMA’s leadership quickly assessed that the previous two years, despite their challenges, proved that farmers’ markets were resilient and essential. Local food systems are strengthened when there are local farms selling within neighborhood farmers’ markets, especially during a time of tumult and uncertainty with international shipping and interstate trucking.
PCFMA’s leadership also reflected upon the importance of the relationships between our markets’ farmers and our markets’ customers. When successful, that relationship is more than just transactional; it builds bridges and unites people, often of very different backgrounds, in common cause. It was this recognition that led PCFMA to change its mission statement to explicitly state our responsibility to support the communities in which we work, in addition to supporting the California farmers who have been central to what we do since our founding in 1988. While our immediate role may be centered around food access, our hope is that our markets serve as community gathering spaces where recipes exchanged across a sales table or a chance meeting with friends, help to build lasting bonds.
Accompanying the new mission statement is a vision statement that shares our hope that through our work, and the similar work of colleagues throughout our state and nation, we can build a healthier food system in which small scale farms play an integral role; a food system that is designed to support small farmers’ success and sustainability.
I invite you to visit pcfma.org/mission to learn more about the mission, vision and core values that we believe will be essential to driving PCFMA forward in the coming years. Thank you for your support of PCFMA, our evolving mission, our farmers, and our communities.