Jennifer Obadia, MS
Ph.D. Candidate, Friedman School of Nutrition Science & Policy
Tufts University, Boston, MA
Mentors Dr. Goldberg, Dr. Kennedy & Dr. Merrigan
Farmers markets have grown rapidly in popularity over the last decade. There were 2,863 farmers markets operating in the United States in 2000. That number grew to 5,274 markets during the 2009 growing season – an increase of 84% over ten years (AMS). However recent research shows that despite overall growth, many farmers markets are finding it difficult to survive, leading to a 50% closure rate in some states. This raises the important question: why do some markets succeed when others fail? Furthermore, how can we determine which markets have a better likelihood of success so that limited funds can be best targeted?
The proposed research project Why Some Markets Succeed When Others Fail aims to address this question by surveying multiple stakeholders: market managers, farmers, and consumers. Further, the study seeks to understand the role that markets can play in addressing the needs of low-income community members by evaluating the impact of the new WIC cash value voucher program. Massachusetts is one of the first states to use this program at farmers markets. Therefore, the study will have great value to other states as they weigh whether or not to implement the program in the future.