The high prices of organic food has led to a perception that it is an elitist craze. Delhi’s farmers markets, however, are dispelling such fears.
Such markets, one of which has been operating at Jor Bagh since February 24, have sought to cut the role of middlemen to ensure that organic food could be made available at affordable prices.
“The principle of the organic farmer’s market is all about changing the buying paradigms of the public,” said Vic Gaffney, founder of the Jor Bagh market. It was set up an NGO, Permaculture India. They are trying to bring organic food back to the table by allowing the consumer to deal directly with the farmer
The farmer’s market allows producers to set up a stall at no charge and build a customer base. “At the moment, big retailers buy directly from the farmers — whether organic or not. They buy by the lot at the cheapest prices but by the time it reaches the local market, the organic gets mixed up with common products and we have no idea about its origin,” Gaffney said.
Since the vendors who participate in this market are either certified organic, natural or transitional, one is assured of quality and cutting out the middle man makes prices comparable to that at the local markets.After a four-week showcase at Lodi restaurant to create awareness, the market has now taken up three floors at the Jor Bagh market building where every Sunday they sell fresh vegetables as well as oils, pulses, grains, and spices.