By Connor Lynch
PETERBOROUGH — Five vendors barred from the Peterborough Farmers Market plan to start their own market.
The local farmers’ market was rocked by a CBC Marketplace investigation last year that found resellers of produce at the market were not saying they hadn’t grown their own fruit and veggies, or were claiming they had. The five barred vendors — McLean Berry Farm, Circle Organic, Otonabee Apiary, Ashburnham Farms Gaelic Garlic and Chef Marshal — were the most vocal in demanding more rules for vendor transparency from the board.
Those five vendors were notified last November that 16 complaints had been made against them by other vendors, including allegations of inappropriate and aggressive conduct, disparaging the board, and disruptive behaviour at the market.
The board rejected the five vendors’ summer vendor applications last month.
Julie Fleming, who runs Circle Organic, an organic vegetable farm, relies on the market for as much as a third of her income. “We attended it year-round, going 52 Saturdays a year for the last four years,” she said.
She and the other vendors are partnering with a local not-for-profit, the Peterborough Regional Farmers’ Network, to open a new farmers’ market and plan to have at least 51 per cent MyPick verified local farmers as vendors. The market is due to open on June 9.