Fair trade or free trade? Let your voice be heard on Minnesota’s future!
The Obama Administration is negotiating two new mega trade deals (one with Pacific Rim countries, another with Europe) entirely in secret, with the goal of further expanding the NAFTA-model of free trade. These trade agreements could have major impacts on Minnesota's farmers, workers, small business owners and rural communities. They could limit Minnesota’s ability to support local food and energy systems and grow local businesses. In order to stay up to speed, Minnesota has set up a new Trade Policy Advisory Council (TPAC) to advise the state legislature and Governor.
TPAC wants to hear from Minnesotans: What concerns do you have about free trade? What role could TPAC play in the future? Now is your opportunity to have a say in our future trade policy. Complete the survey and let them know future trade negotiations should be public, not secret. Help ensure the voices of all Minnesotans are heard in the development of trade agreements and that they protect local control and our quality of life. The free trade model has failed for Minnesota and we need a new approach to trade. Help ensure the voices of all Minnesotans are heard before trade agreements are completed, and that they protect local control, our natural resources and our quality of life.
While some Minneapolis neighborhoods enjoy a bountiful supply of healthy foods, others do not. Since 2006, IATP's Mini Farmers Market project has helped address this reality by bringing fresh fruits and vegetables to Minneapolis neighborhoods that lack healthy food options.
Through the mini-market project, we have helped launch a set of small farmers markets, each of which is hosted and managed by a neighborhood-based organization. To further increase food access, many of the mini-markets are authorized to accept Farmers Market Nutrition Program (FMNP) food assistance coupons and WIC Fruit and Vegetable Vouchers. Many mini-markets are also linked with food shelves, to which participating farmers donate fresh produce.
To support the mini-market concept, IATP helped secure passage of a 2007 City of Minneapolis policy that greatly reduced the time and expense of starting a small market. This new policy has enabled a variety of community centers, senior residences and other neighborhood organizations to host a mini farmers market right on their own property.
Since the inception of the project, IATP has provided training, technical assistance, promotional support, evaluation and other services to our Network of Mini Markets. Starting in 2012, IATP is transitioning leadership of the Mini Market Network to four community organizations that will serve as Network Coordinators (Greater Minneapolis Council of Churches, Kingfield Farmers Market, West Broadway Business and Area Coalition, and the Northeast Minneapolis Farmers Market). The Network Coordinators will act as the liaisons between the markets and the City of Minneapolis, provide an ‘umbrella’ service with the State Department of Agriculture so that the markets can accept Farmers Market Nutrition Program (FMNP) coupons, help with technical assistance and troubleshooting throughout the market season, and foster communication among market managers. Each existing market has been assigned to one of the four Network Coordinators.
To find out more about this year’s mini-markets, please use the contacts below. Have a wonderful farmers market season!
For South of Lake, Park Avenue, Ebenezer Park, Ebenezer Tower and Stevens Square Farmers Markets, please contact Kingfield Farmers Market.
For Glendale, Augsburg, Brian Coyle, Fairview U of M, Fairview St. Kate’s and Abbott Farmers Markets, please contact the Greater Minneapolis Council of Churches.
For Audubon Farmers Market, please contact the Audubon Neighborhood Association.