Hwang-Jaw Lee, PhD
Board Director, Taiwan Flowers Development Association
In addition to energy saving and carbon reduction, carbon footprint reduction has become an emerging environmental protection indicator. Carbon footprint refers to the amount of land, energy, water, etc. that a person or organization uses in order to exist or operate. The use of transportation, water and electricity facilities as well as the food and water we drink translate into carbon emissions.
To reduce the carbon footprint produced as a result of transporting and packing foods, the concept of consuming as many farm goods produced locally as possible is becoming popular in Taiwan. Farmers’ markets, having been in existence in some countries for many years, are beginning to appear in recent years in Taiwan.
A farmers’ market is a place chosen for local farmers to sell their produce only at certain times. Features of a farmers’ market are:
- its produce is fresh, natural and produced locally;
- its farmers offer a wide variety of produce in small amounts;
- its produce is sold directly by farmers or growers, thereby reducing marketing cost.
In addition, with producers dealing face-to-face with consumers, farmers can better understand consumers’ needs, while consumers get a clearer picture of where the produce was grown and the method used to grow it. Farmers’ markets also play an important educational role. Lectures on how to live a healthy life are held at these markets to give consumers a better idea of foods conscription and health.
The following are some of famous farmers’ markets existing in urban areas:
Taipei Hope Plaza
Taipei Hope Plaza has an event held by Agriculture and Food Agency, Council of Agriculture, every weekend. The event has a different theme each weekend, featuring produce that is in season.
Address: No 49, Section 1, Bade Road, Zhongzheng District, Taipei
Times: Saturdays and Sundays
The Rice Bomber Mr. Yang Ru-men has changed tack and become a fulltime farmer, using a non-violent approach to promote his farming ideals. His idea of producing pollutant-free, safe, environmentally friendly produce has won support from a business, which rents a vacant plot of land situated in expensive east area of Taipei city for a price of one dollar. Due to Mr. Yang’s fame, this market is known to the public.
Address: Alley 248, Section 4, Zhongxiao East Road,
Times: 14:00-19:00, Fridays; 10:00-16:00, Saturdays
National Chung-Hsing University(NCHU) Farmers’ Market
All farmers selling produce at this market have been certified by the Council of Agriculture as organic farmers, with their products approved by NCHU Agricultural Products Analysis and Certification Center. The soil and water in their farms have to meet the organic standards. In addition, NCHU offers lectures on organic living so that, on top of buying healthy products, consumers can learn to live an organic life.
Address: 205 Guoguang Road, South District, Taichung
Times: 8:00-12:00, Saturdays
Hope Market first opened in October 2006 in an attempt to allow people to learn, through hands-on experience, how to stay healthy in various aspects of their lives. Lectures are given irregularly on how to be a good farmer and live a healthy life.
Address: No 6-6, Hsiping South Alley, Hsitun District, Taichung
Organization’s address: 246 Gongzheng Road, West District, Taichung
Times: Second Saturday of each month.
The subtropical southern Taiwan has a farmers’ market as well. Situated in Fengshan, Kaohsiung County, Breeze Market provides farmers with a place to sell their produce and student bands with an opportunity to perform.
Address: No 120, Section 2, Guangfu Road, Fengshan, Kaohsiung County
(Children and Youth Center)
Times: 15:00-18:00, second Saturday of each month.
Date submitted: April 21, 2014
Reviewed, edited and uploaded: April 22, 2014