Food swaps and farmers markets are both examples of activities in local food systems which provide alternatives to sourcing food from supermarkets and the industrial food system. Not only can food swaps and farmers markets provide access to cost effective fresh food, they can also help reduce the environmental impact of large scale high input / energy food production involving long supply chains.
Food swaps are a great way of leveraging the often overlooked sources of food and related resources that exist within urban areas, thus enabling the maximum number of people to benefit. It is collaborative consumption at its most effective!
Both food swaps and farmers markets enable food to be consumed locally when it is at it’s freshest and can be the trigger for creating social connections between producers and consumers as well as neighbours, fostering friendships and building stronger communities.
Farmers markets certified by the Victorian Farmers Markets Association must meet certain environmental and social criteria, such as only selling produce that is GM free, certified organic or produced with no or minimal chemicals; and minimising waste, packaging and / or eliminating plastic bags.