Delaware’s governor, John Carney, and the Delaware Department of Agriculture said that was proven again in 2019 when they announced that Delaware farmers’ markets hit an all-time sales record of $3.28 million last year.
The announcement came during the 15th annual Delaware Agriculture Week underway at the Delaware State Fairgrounds in Harrington. It is a week-long conference that covers agricultural operations within the state and provides critical updates, research and training for members of the industry.
Delawarestatenews.net quoted Carney as saying: “Delaware has a rich farming history, and agriculture remains our No. 1 industry. It’s no surprise Delaware’s farmers markets continue to gain popularity with Delawareans and visitors to the state who want to purchase local, Delaware grown foods and farm-fresh products from family farms. Agriculture contributes $8 billion to Delaware’s economy, and we’ve permanently preserved 25 percent of Delaware’s farmland so that agriculture will continue to be the backbone of our economy.”
Sales from all 19 Delaware community-run farmers’ markets this year totaled $3,277,788, up more than $394,086 from 2018 — an increase of 13.7 percent. Sales have increased more than 11-fold since the Department of Agriculture began tracking them in 2007.
Fresh produce made up 57 percent of total sales, with the remainder coming from products such as meats, cheeses, jellies, breads, salsa, eggs or honey.