Opportunities - FreshLocalWNY.org

Report
Growing Our Regional Farmers Markets
Assessing Strengths and Opportunities
Our Goal for Today
 Look for ways that we can improve:
 Our farmers markets
 Consumer demand for local food
 Farmer revenue
http://www.nyfarmersmarket.com
SWOT Analysis
 An insightful look at our environment and within our own
organizations as a means to assess our business or program
 Helps with all sorts of decision-making:
 Marketing
 New programs and services
 Expansion/growth
 Mergers
 New products
http://www.nyfarmersmarket.com
We’ll look at:
 Internal Strengths and Weaknesses
 Financial, physical, human resources and current processes
 External Threats and Opportunities
 Market and economic trends, funding, demographics
Strengths
Weaknesses
Threats
Opportunities
http://www.nyfarmersmarket.com
Rules of the Game
 This is a team process!
 All comments are welcome
and valid
 Everyone should feel free
to comment without
concern for criticism
 Must be brutally honest
with ourselves when
looking at internal factors
http://www.nyfarmersmarket.com
Strengths:

What do you have within your markets that will help you to build a strong market and grow
customer demand for local?
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Vendors cooperate with each other/comaradere
Loyal customer base
Vendor diversity
Product quality
Location, location, location (ease of access, parking, visibility)
Community support/ customer word-of-mouth
Value-added attractions (take away food, seating, entertainment)
Appeal for younger demographic
Educational opportunities/lectures/demonstrations/vendor-customer interaction/ product use demonstrations/tastings/Zumba
classes
Good general market advertising
Restrooms nearby/available
Volunteers
EBT program/SNAP
Winter market
Shuttle service for seniors/coupons for products
Seneca Nation posts community market day/time on website
Seneca Nation supports market through health/diabetes initiative
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http://www.nyfarmersmarket.com
Weaknesses:
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What are the challenges you face as an individual market?
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Parking challenges (lacking, proximity)
How to increase customer base?
Health/benefit coupons – too confusing for vendors, customers redeem all at once, not enough vendors participate
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Market sponsor lacks funds to promote, grow market
Spotty vendor commitment/pack up early
Market needs a sponsor org./independent manager
Multiple location moves at discretion of sponsor/challenge to building customer base/ lack of permanency
Sponsor not connected to market mission/needs/centralized decision making
Over regulation/top-down management/disengage vendors/management org not available when needed/ no emergency plan
Not enough marketing/advertising/need a marketing plan/ sign “blind”
Vendors are managers - managers are vendors / no independent manager/manager not available
Politics trump market mission
Align market hours to meet customer traffic/challenge to determine best time slots for farmers & customers
Market mgr. does not have impact info: economic, multiplier, vendor sales, customer traffic count, surveys
Not enough vendor/product diversity = low customer traffic
Not enough farmers to populate the market/farmers aging out
Not a “one stop” shopping experience/how to differentiate between big box retail & farmers markets and build value
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Competing community activity/could not capitalize on community music night
No networking with other markets/market managers/sponsors/state-wide conference
Market not matched to community demographics
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Not enough additional physical space available to grow
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http://www.nyfarmersmarket.com
Threats (challenges):
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What are the challenges you face within your local community to get support for farmers markets and
local food purchasing?
 Beyond your local community that impact your success?
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Food Safety Mod. Act – comments by 11/15 (use Federation as resource)
Lack of public/private transportation/accessibility
Customers bring animals/pets to market
Managers need to stay apprised health/safety regs and enforcement – overwhelming; state AgMarkets not available when
needed/ County-level regs not same across region
Socioeconomic challenges in community/ declining population = declining customer base
Changes in municipal administration
Consumer ed on food terms: organic, cert. naturally grown, local, - what does this all mean?
Seasonality education – we are not a supermarket/how to educate and build value
Build community – market – neighbor relations
Proprietary nature among growers and markets
Value priorities – consumers and ag/food producers
Integrity issues – defining “local” and producer grown/made
Sponsor not aligned with mission/purpose of farmers/vendors
WIC/Veg Fruit Check program – difficult to participate/not farmer friendly/ not bank friendly/ not aligned with seasonal
availability
EBT processing cumbersome /IRS reporting big burden
Lack of farmland/sprawl/land use regs/lack of community facilities /washrooms
Parking – lack of, not close proximity to market
http://www.nyfarmersmarket.com
Opportunities:
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What exists in the community that can help you to grow your market and build the demand for
local food?
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Beyond your local community?
“Grow a Farmer” program
Markets/managers are ambassadors for agriculture
Local food culture/small business supporters
EBT/WIC bring in add’l customers & serves at-risk community /breaks stigma of public benefit
recipient
Health/community health sector looking to partner with farmers markets / higher-ed partnerships –
interns doing studies, surveys, assessments
Grants available: USDA/NYS Dept Ag & Markets, community foundations
Social media creates new opportunities for diversifying customer base
Old school marketing still works (direct mail)/coupons / loyalty card program / customer loyalty
card raffle / loyalty cards provide tracking mechanism
Municipal host makes market easy to operate (very accommodating)
Set up fees generally affordable but vary widely between markets/confusing for vendors
Cross-marketing opportunities among markets/serves customers needs
Opportunities for community building/good will/ example: gleaning program
New payment methods/”smart phone” - Federation has resources to help with this
Online ordering models / mobile market vehicle
http://www.nyfarmersmarket.com
What would we like to accomplish for
our markets?
http://www.nyfarmersmarket.com
Using our analysis, how can we
accomplish these goals?
 What relationships do we need to make
 What tools do we need to acquire
http://www.nyfarmersmarket.com
Thank you!
We hope you enjoyed our presentation.
Farmers Market Federation
117 Highbridge St, Suite U3
Fayetteville, NY 13066
(315) 637 – 4690
http://www.nyfarmersmarket.com

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