Vision and Values
The mission of the Pacific Coast Farmers' Market Association - to support California farmers and communities by providing farmers' markets for our diverse Bay Area neighborhoods - is supported by an optimistic vision for the future, and a set of core values undergird all of the work that PCFMA undertakes.
Vision of the Pacific Coast Farmers’ Market Association
We envision a statewide network of interconnected local food systems sustaining California farms and providing affordable, accessible food for everyone. We envision a diverse collection of farmers’ markets as integral elements of these food systems, directly connecting farmers and their consumers. We envision an agricultural system in which small farms can flourish through access to multiple outlets for their products and clear paths to their long-term sustainability.
Values of the Pacific Coast Farmers’ Market Association
We believe that farms selling in farmers’ markets, which are predominantly smaller-scale and family-owned and operated farms, contribute tremendously to our agricultural system by keeping farmland in production and growing a wide variety of crops that respond to consumer demands unmet by consolidated and corporate-owned and operated mega-farms. We believe that farmers’ markets can serve as an effective avenue to economic opportunity for small-scale farms when those farms are matched with communities in which their products are sought and the farm’s story – from its history to its farming practices – is valued by local consumers.
We recognize that the current agricultural and economic systems create tremendous barriers for small-scale farms, especially those that choose to sell directly to consumers rather than through large-scale distributors, and believe that public policies should increase opportunities for small-scale and direct marketing farms to be successful.
We recognize that for too many of our Bay Area communities, it is a struggle to afford and access healthy food for their families and that public benefit programs such as CalFresh and WIC can be essential lifelines for families in need. We believe that farmers’ markets should be open and welcoming spaces for consumers of all economic means and that all farmers’ markets should accept and support public benefit programs that improve food access.
We acknowledge that the food and farming systems we work within today are the result of many years of public policy decisions that, through their design or their implementation, excluded African American farmers and other farmers of color, blocking their access to land, capital, and the expertise needed to build, sustain and grow viable farm businesses. We recognize that women farmers have often faced similar barriers to farm ownership. We believe that a viable, economically just food system must acknowledge and correct these past injustices while building a system in which all farmers have equal access to resources and equal opportunities to become successful.
We recognize that farming and ranching have the potential to significantly impact the natural environment including the land, water, and air. We believe that farmers have a special responsibility to be good stewards of these resources so that their farms and ranches can remain healthy places where nutritious food is produced. We also recognize that the processes established to monitor farms’ environmental impact have the potential to create undue burdens upon small-scale farms and we encourage scale-appropriate systems that support a clean environment while allowing farmers to keep farming.
We value the face-to-face interactions that farmers’ markets make possible, especially the engagement between farmers and consumers that allow consumers to know who is growing their food. We believe that farmers’ markets should be community spaces that encourage friendly exchanges between strangers and conversations that turn neighbors into friends. These dynamics build long-lasting relationships between farmers and their customers that support healthy families and successful small businesses.
We value partnership and camaraderie and strive to work together with other farmers’ market operators, local governments, local businesses, and community organizations on issues of common cause.
We value the principles of honesty and fairness and are committed to always operating according to the highest ethical standards with respect to our farmers, food producers, vendors, employees, and partners.