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Abstract

Oftentimes, prices at farmers' markets are much cheaper than those at grocery stores. However, little is known about the pricing relationship between farmers' markets and nearby grocery stores. Only by further analyzing this relationship can we gain a better understanding of these pricing trends. Although this trend is seemingly consistent, further research is necessary to test this assumption. Through the collection of prices at both locales, farmers' markets and grocery stores, producers as well as consumers will have access to current prices in both markets. In recent years, consumers are looking for local produce and are willing to pay for them as they are faced with increased grocery store prices, while producers are simultaneously seeking to increase their profit margins. This paper uses data that was collected over the course of one year while recording pricing trends from farmers' markets and nearby grocery stores. The survey also records demographic and operational data from individual producers and or vendors at those farmers' markets within the State of Florida. It is hypothesized that producers selling at farmers' markets are not receiving a price premium for their products and the current prices they charge are, on average, significantly less than those found at a grocery store. Research gives evidence that producers should be receiving a price premium for their products. It is believed that they are being paid only a portion of the true market value for their products. As a result of this research, farmers should have a better understanding of state-wide pricing trends at farmers' markets and grocery stores which in turn will help them make better, more informed decisions when pricing and marketing their specialty crops.

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