State officials in Virginia say sales at wholesale farmers' markets have more than doubled in the past five years.
The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services says the state's network of wholesale farmers' markets had gross sales of $42.8 million in 2011. That's an increase of more than 7 percent over 2010 and is more than twice the amount of sales in 2006.
The Farmers' Market System is made up of four shipping point farmers' markets that operate under a contract between either the state or county government and the private sector. The markets _ in Hillsville, Melfa, Oak Grove and Courland _ are different from community farmers' markets that sell directly to consumers.
The agency says 209 producers used the services in 2011, up from 155 in 2010.