Five Incredible Ways Farmers Markets Are Battling Food Waste

We all know farmers markets are a hub for boosting local economies and providing residents with fresh produce, but they’re also becoming a hotbed for sustainability initiatives. For our August veg-centric flavors, we worked with farmers markets in our neighborhoods who are working hard to combat food & plastic waste. Here’s how.

Portland Farmers Market Durable Dining program
PORTLAND FARMERS MARKET

Our hometown market established its Durable Dining program once non-food waste was no longer accepted for commercial composting. By requiring hot-food vendors to serve their goods in reusable dishes and silverware, they’ve reduced their landfill output by more than half and drastically dropped the amount of disposables they’re using.

CUESA

San Francisco’s Center for Urban Education and Sustainable Agriculture is a pioneer in reducing food waste. Their decade-long Waste Wise Initiative phased out plastic bags and bottled water and is tackling ways to reduce vendor packaging.

BALLARD FARMERS MARKET

This Seattle market ensures that all excess produce is gleaned—that is, donated to local nonprofits rather than getting tossed. Its gleaning coordinator customizes each vendor’s involvement in food recovery efforts.

SAN DIEGO COUNTY FARMERS MARKETS

This group of 38 markets banned styrofoam long before the city itself, and encourages the use of reusable totes and water bottles.

SANTA MONICA FARMERS MARKETS

Two of these Los Angeles markets have transitioned to zero waste—all products and packaging are either recyclable or compostable (!). They also offer a free weekend bike valet, recycle used batteries, and collect and distribute reusable bags. 

 

We commend the efforts of our market partners and how they’re blazing the trail for a more sustainable planet.