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January 8, 2007

Task Force on Food, Farm and Nutrition Policy
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Rivera Welcomes Spitzer's Support for NYC Farmers' Market

(Albany, NY) - Assemblyman José Rivera (Bronx), Chair of the Assembly Task Force on Food, Farm and Nutrition Policy was pleased that Governor Eliot Spitzer, in his State of the State message, expressed support for a Wholesale Farmers' Market that would benefit both food businesses in NYC and New York farmers who could sell there. Last year Rivera requested funding for such a market and sponsored legislation to provide assistance for its development. He urged the Governor to support efforts to locate the market in the Bronx.

"As Task Force Chair I have been working to improve the health of our community by improving nutrition and the quality of food that is available in our stores and restaurants. The City government is also pursuing these goals through their healthy bodega project. At the same time we also need to support our State's farmers who can provide us with fresh, wholesome food. Although some people can buy these foods directly from farmers at retail farmers' markets, most people in New York get their food at supermarkets, bodegas or restaurants. Unfortunately, there is no wholesale market in NYC that is accessible for these farmers so they can sell to restaurant and bodega buyers. I co-sponsor legislation to provide economic development funding for wholesale markets serving local farmers in urban areas and I look forward to the new Governor's partnership on this project," said Rivera.

A recent NYC Wholesale Farmers' Market study found that "…a New York City wholesale farmers' market would expand opportunities for mid-size and small producers of food and agricultural products from New York and adjacent states to sell their products directly to wholesale buyers in the city and that such a market facility - similar to those that have operated in NYC in the past - would also help meet the growing demand by thousands of NYC restaurants, retail stores, institutions and other wholesale buyers for locally-grown fresh farm products."

According to Rivera, "Most experts agree that a NYC market like this should be located at Hunts Point in the Bronx. This market would benefit small businesses and local farmers and create jobs in our community. But most important it could support efforts to improve nutrition and the health of our children and families."

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