As some of you know, I believe that the era of mission-driven farmers markets has just begun and that how we view our work needs to expand to help the farmers and buyers that we work with. In that mindset, we should begin to examine the idea of public markets entirely devoted to restaurant/grocer (then wholesale) sales of local goods, curated with the same intention and mission by those of us that currently manage retail farmers markets.
In order to do that, we should learn from wholesale terminals such as this one in Canada. I found a couple of things within this article about the Ontario Terminal fascinating. My notes are in italics.
In less than 40 seconds, DiLiso has placed his order: cabbage, cipollini onions, bean sprouts and bok choy. Na enters the data on a hand-held digital device then, with a mutual nod, moves on to another client, leaving DiLiso to gather up his vegetables.
That’s how deals are done at The Ontario Food Terminal, the giant U-shaped building on 16 hectares off the Queensway in west Toronto: friendly, no-nonsense, fast.
(Notice the ability to enter sales on a hand held device?)
DiLiso and his small crew criss-cross the market to find sellers they trust who have the best deals on vegetables.
“It’s all about relationships,” DiLiso says.
(I dunno- it sounds like it is as much about price?)