NO PINK SLIPS
FOR LOCAL FARMERS AND LOCAL FOOD!
The Peterborough & District Farmers Market Association (PDFMA), which is the Not-for-Profit Corporation that governs the Saturday Farmers' Market, gave pink slips to 7 vendors at the Market, 4 days before Christmas.
The PDFMA Board of Directors (BoD) is made up of only 4 vendors (Cindy Hope, Jill Staples, Mark Jones and Jan Laurie).
Why are farmers giving pink slips to farmers at the Farmers' Market? A review
of the current BoD actions and behaviour will hopefully shed some light on this question. The media has been active, please see news
we've collected for your benefit.
What can we do to help ?
The vendors under attack do not want this fight, but they are committed to their farmers' market and they are standing up for local food. They have no choice but to defend their livelihoods through costly legal action, for which they need financial support. The urgency of this campaign is critical. Any funds raised that are not needed for legal costs will be donated to organizations within the community that support local farmers and local food.
Donate to our legal fund
Contact Mayor Bennett, your city councillor, and the city CAO Allan Seabrooke. Tell them they need to step in to save local food NOW.
Contact Peterborough City Hall
- December 22, 2016
- January, 2017
Lauren Nurse of Small Spade Farm was accepted into the market to sell certified organic produce and had 2 successful markets selling out.
On the Friday before her third market she received a phone call from the Market Manager claiming that they had double booked her stall and she was no longer welcome at the Farmers' Market.
She came to Market anyway and by advocating for her place at Market as a farmer and with support from other farmers, the management found her another space to sell her produce at the market.
Market Resellers Making it harder for farmers to make a living
- April 10th, 2017
The PDFMA had their Annual General Meeting. Seven vendors assisted by a local lawyer put forth three resolutions for consideration by the membership that they believed would improve transparency, fairness, accountability and best practices in running the farmers' market. The BoD didn't allow these three motions to be heard at the AGM.
The members were able to pass a similar resolution to one of the resolutions put forth by the seven vendors, which called for the board to recommend an auditor to the membership so the membership could appoint an auditor. A professional financial audit of the corporation has not been done in recent memory. To date, the board has not recommended an auditor to the membership. Security guards were hired by the PDFMA BoD for the meeting and it was closed to the public.
- April, 2017
Two young farmer vendors, Lauren Nurse (Small Spade) and Jenny Ross (Earth Nook Farm) had their applications to sell at the summer Saturday Market denied two weeks before the summer market started. The PDFMA BoD claimed that the products Lauren and Jenny were selling were in excess at the Market. Both farmers had planted their gardens thinking they would be selling at the Summer Saturday Market.
Lauren Nurse's Rejection Letter May 3rd, 2017
- September 2nd, 2017
The Peterborough Regional Farmers Network (PRFN), a not-for-profit corporation that advocates for farmers in the Peterborough region, unveils a new banner that is put up by 10 farms at the Saturday Market promoting that they are verified by a third party and that they grow 100 percent of what they sell.
Circle Organic, McLean Berry Farm, OtonaBee Apiary and Gaelic Garlic all put up banners celebrating their status as local farmers.
By Thanksgiving, 15 farms have adopted the banner.
The PDFMA board calls this a "rebel move" and suggests that they are working on their own signage that will include voluntary claims of how much a farmer produces on their farm.
Banners to point to locally grown food at peterborough farmers' market
New Signage at Peterborough Farmer's Market labelled a rebel move
- September 29th, 2017
CBC MarketPlace airs an episode about food fraud at farmers' markets that follows Kent Family Farm's truck to the Toronto Food Terminal and then back to the Peterborough Saturday Market and documents them telling customers that they grow the food they just purchased.
CBC MarketPlace also shows the Kent's distribute the Food Terminal food to other reselling vendors at the Market.
The PDFMA board has yet to discipline Kent Family Farm or other vendors for lying to customers and tarnishing the public's trust in the Market.
Lauren Nurse (Small Spade), Sam McLean (McLean Berry Farm) and Astrid Manske (OtonaBee Apiary) speak out about food fraud at the Saturday Peterborough Market on the CBC MarketPlace episode; and have now either been removed from the Market or received a pink slip.
CBC Marketplace Full Episode
CBC Marketplace Article on Food Fraud at the Peterborough Saturday Farmers Market
- October 28th, 2017
The PDFMA BoD hands out at the Market a new set of bylaws that change the requirements for membership, making it harder for new members to join the PDFMA and consolidates more power into the BoD. Those members only had 24 days to review the bylaws before the vote to enact them on November 20th. Many vendors who were not at Market that day had even less time to review the bylaws. The bylaws were passed at the meeting on November 20th by a show of hands, even though a member requested a ballot vote, as per their rights, and was denied that right by the moderator.
PDFMA vendors concerns with new Bylaws
- December 20th, 2017
4 days before Christmas, the board used the powers of the new bylaws to call a meeting to pass a resolution that would give pink slips to seven vendors at the market. Mclean Berry Farm, Circle Organic, OtonoBee Apiary, Gaelic Garlic, Finest Gourmet Fudge, Chef Marshall, and Neccessitea Elixir got pink slips right before Christmas.
What do you want your Farmers' Market to look like? We want farmers and local businesses at our market! We do not want food fraud! NO PINK SLIPS FOR FARMERS AND LOCAL BUSINESS AT THE FARMERS' MARKET! We want a transparent organization that works with the entire membership and the community to preserve and grow the Farmers' Market as a community asset.