Itoman Farmers’ Market reaches 100-million visitor mark
The number of visitors to “Farmers Market Itoman Umanchu Ichiba” since its opening exceeded 100 million on Wednesday. The JA Okinawa operated market opened about 15 years ago.
The Umnachu Ichiba is the first market in Okinawa that has exceeded 100 million visitors. Both the number of visitors and the volume of sales in 2016 were also the highest of all 11 JA branch markets in the prefecture. According to JA Okinawa, Umanchu Ichiba ranked the 10th of all national JA farmers’ markets in sales in 2016.
Umanchu Ichiba opened in November 2002 with a motto of “locally produced and consumed”. There are many of produce farms in Itoman, and each individual farm brings its produce to the market directly, resulting in low prices and wide selection. Especially, the market is known for its many varieties of Okinawan spinach (Handama), water spinach (Unchee), and western herbs. Umanchu Ichiba also offers recipes and food tasting events.
During the summer when less locally produced vegetables are harvested, the market sells vegetables imported from partnership markets outside of the prefecture. There were about 300 different products when the market first opened, but now the selection has grown to more than 600.