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Assessing Strengths and Opportunities Growing Our Regional Farmers Markets.

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Presentation on theme: "Assessing Strengths and Opportunities Growing Our Regional Farmers Markets."— Presentation transcript:

1 Assessing Strengths and Opportunities Growing Our Regional Farmers Markets

2 Our Goal for Today Look for ways that we can improve: Our farmers markets Consumer demand for local food Farmer revenue

3 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

4 Well look at: Internal Strengths and Weaknesses Financial, physical, human resources and current processes External Threats and Opportunities Market and economic trends, funding, demographics StrengthsWeaknesses ThreatsOpportunities

5 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

6 Strengths: What do you have within your markets that will help you to build a strong market and grow customer demand for local? 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

7 Weaknesses: What are the challenges you face as an individual market? 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 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 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 Not enough additional physical space available to grow

8 Threats (challenges): 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? 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

9 Opportunities: What exists in the community that can help you to grow your market and build the demand for local food? Beyond your local community? Grow a Farmer program Markets/managers are ambassadors for agriculture Local food culture/small business supporters EBT/WIC bring in addl 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

10 What would we like to accomplish for our markets?

11 Using our analysis, how can we accomplish these goals? What relationships do we need to make What tools do we need to acquire

12 Thank you! We hope you enjoyed our presentation. Farmers Market Federation 117 Highbridge St, Suite U3 Fayetteville, NY 13066 (315) 637 – 4690

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