Everything Is Not What It Seems At Some Ontario Farmer’s Markets

"People Are Being Duped"

Buyer, beware.

When you shop at a local Farmer’s Market, you assume you’re making the local, healthy, better choice. Turns out, that may not be the case. According to an undercover report from CBC’s Marketplace, some farmers market vendors aren’t entirely truthful about where their “local” fruits and veggies come from.

Marketplace went undercover at 11 Ontario markets, including one in Gravenhurst and one in Orillia, and found that in 5 of the markets vendors were passing off good that they had bought wholesale as produce they had grown themselves.

“In Orillia, located two hours north of Toronto, a pepper that a vendor claimed was local had a sticker from a 750-acre producer in Sinaloa, Mexico.Farther north in Gravenhurst, a vendor claimed to have personally picked strawberries on his farm the day before market, but Marketplace discovered he doesn’t even have a farm.”

Kent Farms, one of the largest vendors at the Peterborough Farmers Market, operates two different stalls at the market. One is run by James Kent, and the other by Brent Kent. They claimed to be selling produce they had grown, but when the team followed one of James Kent’s trucks to the Ontario Food Terminal in Toronto. The Kent Farms truck was loaded with more than 50 boxes of produce including peppers, zucchinis, strawberries and radishes. The staff at Brent Kent’s stall peeled stickers off peppers and James Kent transferred vegetables from wholesale boxes to farm bushels.

Courtesy of Marketplace