During the darkest days of the pandemic, Campagna Amica director in Rome began to reach out to farmers market practitioners from all over the planet to determine how others were handling the unsettled and unsettling landscape of lockdowns and a suspension of public gatherings. Carmelo Troccoli's outreach to the world of markets has proven to be the right move at the right moment. Since 2020, a community of correspondences has morphed into an international nongovernmental organization incorporated and based in Rome, with its secretariat operating out of the Campagna Amica headquarters.
This time last year, I agreed to serve as the provisional president, in order to help usher the organization to its first General Assembly. Little did I know that the downhill momentum would be so great. Not only have our numbers grown from just a handful to 50 farmers market organizations in 60 countries, but our partnerships with pivotal organizations are yielding new products to build the field of markets. Consider partnership with the HealthBridge Foundation of Canada, UN Habitat, and the World Union of Wholesale Markets. It has resulted in the publication of A Collaborative Discussion Paper: Strengthening Local Fresh Food Markets for Resilient Food Systems.
Since September, we have made considerable progress to devise a structure and plan for a World Farmers Markets Academy, map out a capacity-building strategy for markets leaders on both sides of the Mediterranean Sea, and finally hone in on the deliverables associated with the United Nations FAO designation of the World Farmers Markets Coalition as a FAO Food Coalition.
While these important steps are leading us to the proposed 2-3 April 2023 General Assembly in Rome, it is the progress that farmers market leaders are making around the world that deserves attention. Read more of these achievements in the 3-Minute Read newsletter.