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Farmers Market Looks to Move On After Controversy

by ARLnow.com July 7, 2010 at 10:21 am 1,555 4 Comments

The organizers of the Clarendon Farmers Market are hoping to move on from a pricing dispute that exploded into a full-blown, televised controversy last week.

The market decided to prohibit a vendor, C&T Fruits and Vegetables, from returning this week after other vendors complained about C&T’s low prices and questionable product sourcing. They said C&T’s ability to sell off-season produce proves that they broke market rules that require all produce be locally-grown by the seller.

The dispute became public when a TV reporter showed up with camera in tow and began asking people if they thought a vendor should be expelled for having low prices (spoiler: most people said they did not have a problem with the low prices).

In a press release that didn’t explicitly address the controversy, the Clarendon Alliance, which runs the market, noted that “All production locations must be within a 125-mile radius of Washington, D.C. A producer may not sell items purchased from another farm or supplier… The Clarendon Alliance reserves the right to reject applications from operations where the applicant’s participation in production is unclear.”

The market is held outside the Clarendon Metro every Wednesday from 3:00 to 7:00 p.m.

  • Mike

    I hope C&T sues the pants off of them.

  • doug

    yeah…and then anyone can sell super cheap produce from factory farms around the world at farmer’s markets under the guise of “local produce” and they’ll put VA, MD, and PA farmers out of business. That will truly be a great day…and I’ll get my sawdust tasting tomatoes at a rock bottom price. Awesome!!!!

  • Skeptical

    This does change my perspective on the matter. Earlier coverage did not emphasize C & T’s sourcing, only their low prices. Mike, if you still want C & T to sue, where does that leave your claim that farmer’s markets mislabel anything they like as organic produce in order to gull suckers? You can’t have it both ways.

  • Mike

    C&T has just as much right to pull the wool over the eyes of the organic shoppers as does every other vendor in that market. More power to them if they can undercut prices.


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