By Robin Clutters

BOULDER COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4)– National Farmers Market Week is coming up Aug. 1-7. The event also helps kick off Colorado Proud Month, a time to promote the produce grown right here in our state.

(credit: Boulder County Farmers Market)

Brian Coppom is the Executive Director of the Boulder County Farmers Markets. On CBSN Denver, he talked about the importance of supporting local farmers.

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“When you’re buying directly from the farmer, you are really giving the bulk of the revenue to that farmer. In a normal food system, the farmer gets somewhere between eight and 14 cents out of the food dollar,” says Coppom. “At the farmer’s market, the farmer takes home 94 cents out of that sale.”

According to a recent study, the cost of growing food is three times what we pay for it at a grocery store or in a restaurant.

“This extra revenue allows the farmers to cover many of those costs,” says Coppom. “It’s also reinvested right back into the local food community.”

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Coppom says farmers markets also do important advocacy work, bringing awareness and understanding to local food systems and growers.

(credit: Boulder County Farmers Market)

“Growers are investing in the soil, they are investing in pollinator habitat, and they are investing in clean water. They are also paying fair labor rates. The average hourly pay for farm workers is $15.60 an hour. They are involved in supporting so many of the values that are important to us as a community.”

The Boulder County Farmers Markets have teamed up with Boulder County Public Health to offer incentives to people who use their SNAP benefits at the markets. For every $20 of SNAP benefits spent, they’ll get another $20 to use on fresh fruits and vegetables. Families who qualify for the WIC program can show their card to get $20 worth of incentives every week.

(credit: Boulder County Farmers Market)

“It’s really important to us because good food is a right that everybody should have access to. This allows people to get that fresh, hand-picked, high-quality food.”

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The Boulder County Farmers Markets operate five different events, including one in Denver. For a full list of locations, click here.

Robin Clutters