The FMO Mandate

Farmers’ Markets Ontario® (FMO) is the only official provincially recognized organization representing over 180 farmers’ markets across the province. The primary mandate of the organization is to:

  1. Provide a wide variety of services to members from liability insurance to management, government relations, marketing and professional development.
  2. Promote member markets, verified local farmers through the MyPick® program, and the benefits of shopping and supporting local farmers’ markets to Ontario consumers.

200 Years and Counting

In 1801, Kingston became home to the first farmers’ market in Ontario. The market acted as a key gathering point for the community as the central place to buy, sell or trade goods. By the 1970s-80’s, there were about 60 farmers’ markets around the province that actually experienced a slight decline due to the growth of shopping malls.

Thanks in part to Bob Chorney, working at the time as a Northern Marketing Specialist for the Government of Ontario, as well a small group of dedicated market supporters along with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture Food and Rural Affairs, Farmers’ Markets Ontario® was born in 1991.

Fueled by the demand for local food and products, markets now act as key retail hubs that connect farmers to shoppers through direct sales. Over the past 10 years, farmers’ markets sales in Ontario are estimated to have increased 10 – 12 per cent annually to about $800 million with an economic impact of over $2.5 billion.

Since 1991, Farmers’ Markets Ontario®, has been leading the way, advocating for markets with municipalities, regulators and potential funders to help ensure the health and sustainability of Ontario farmers’ markets. Now with over 180 farmers’ markets across the province, FMO continues to support the growth of farmers’ markets for the benefit of local farmers, local food and Ontario consumers.