Krakow, Poland’s second-largest city with around 750,000 inhabitants, is home to the Targ Pietruszkowy (“parsley market”) farmers’ market. Located in the south of the country, in the Małopolska region, the city is one of Poland’s top tourist destinations, but most of the market’s customers are locals from Krakow and nearby towns and villages.
The Targ Pietruszkowy agricultural market was started in June 2013 thanks to the hard work of some young people from the community in the Podgórze district who wanted to meet the needs of citizens interested in finding local producers of healthy and sustainable food. To this end they established the Targ Pietruszkowy foundation. Every Saturday, a few dozen small-scale producers (between 40 and 80) participate in the market, selling fresh vegetables and fruit, bread, oils, fruit juices, preserves, honey, meat, milk, eggs, cheese, freshwater fish, flours, cakes and more. Some of the stalls sell street food prepared with ingredients sourced directly from the market.
The market also collaborates with other organizations, like the Kupuj Odpowiedzialnie (“buy responsibly”) Foundation, which works on sustainable development, environmental protection and responsible consumption and production, as well as respect for human rights and environmental principles in business. With the foundation, the market organizes special days dedicated to themes like fair trade and conscious shopping workshops.
Most of the market stalls are set up in Niepodległości Square, but some also use the basement of a nearby building, where products that must be kept refrigerated (fresh meat, cheese, fresh pasta) are displayed and sold.
The products sold in the Krakow Earth Market – Targ Pietruszkowy are local. They must come from within a 150-kilometer radius of Krakow, which means they are also fresh and seasonal. And the customers know that with their shopping, they are supporting the agricultural communities in the Małopolska region.
All the food is produced in a healthy, sustainable way, without the use of pesticides and antibiotics. Many of the products are certified organic or biodynamic, and if they are not certified, the foundation that runs the market carries out regular controls to check for pesticide residues.
The products are all sold directly by the producers, whose farms must be no bigger than 15 hectares and cultivated in a diversified way. The farmers who participate can get a fair price for their hard work, without further intermediate steps between producer and buyer, and can also meet consumers in person, allowing a useful exchange of knowledge.
What’s more, the sellers are personally responsible for the quality of what they are offering, an aspect that gives the producers a greater sense of responsibility.
The market is located in the Podgórze district, on the banks of the River Vistula, not far from the old Jewish quarter of Kazimierz (10 minutes’ walk, on the other side of the river). The distance between the market and the Rynek Główny, the largest medieval square in Central Europe, is just over 2 kilometers. The market is well connected to the rest of the city, there are tram and bus stops nearby (Korona stop, numbers 6-8-10-11-13-19-904)and a large multistory car park not far from the entrance.