The elephant in the market: Unearthing provincial policy alignments and perceived challenges to grow the impact of the farmers market sector in Nova Scotia, Canada
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Farmers markets (FMs) have identified potential as sustainable forms of economic life. However, they are rarely studied for their contributions to official sustainability policy. This study evaluates how FM activities align with sustainable development policy in Nova Scotia, Canada. Alignments are qualified based on an analysis of three provincial policies and FM public statements. Narrative inquiry is used to explore the challenges FMs face in advancing provincial goals based on interviews with FM organizers. The results suggest that, while FMs do align with multiple sustainability priorities in Nova Scotia, provincial policies do not reflect several key FM activities. The research outcomes highlight the role of FMs as enablers of smaller scale farmers and the need for increased government recognition and support for these actors in order for FMs to progress on provincial goals. This study contributes new insights on the potential role of FMs in shaping a more sustainable future.