SYRACUSE, N.Y. — In 2018, farmers markets in many areas of the country reported that they were experiencing a decrease in customer attendance, resulting in declining sales for their farmers and vendors. The Farmers Market Federation of NY, in partnership with Cornell Cooperative Extension of Broome County, Communities Involved in Sustaining Agriculture (CISA), NOFA VT, University of Maryland Cooperative Extension and the Maryland Farmers Market Association, launched a multistate consumer survey to learn consumers’ attitudes toward shopping for local food at farmers markets. The results formed the basis of the Consumer Survey Toolkit designed to help farmers markets recover their customer base and regain sales for their farmers.
The Consumer Survey Toolkit was launched in January 2020 with a series of webinars to showcase the toolkit and assist market managers to adapt their farmers markets to mirror the needs and wants of their customer base. The goal was that farmers markets, farm educators and farmers would be able to use the toolkit to benefit their markets for the 2020 farmers market season.
March 2020 brought us the Coronavirus pandemic and halted efforts to build market programs, services and policies to improve customer traffic at farmers markets. Rather all efforts were focused on keeping farmers markets open and operating under COVID guidelines and restrictions. We recognize there was a resurgence in the desire for local food and support for local farms and farmers markets brought on by the pandemic, but there is uncertainty over whether that resurgence will hold for upcoming seasons.
To assist farmers markets, farmers, and farm educators in preparing for the upcoming 2021 farmers market season, and ensure the continued resurgence in supporting local food purchasing, the Farmers Market Federation of NY and Cornell Cooperative Extension of Broome County are hosting a series of webinars to further showcase the SARE Consumer Survey Toolkit. Each session will look at sections of the toolkit with the goal of helping prepare farmers markets to better reflect consumer attitudes toward shopping at farmers markets. Presenters will highlight the programs, services and policies of markets of all sizes in urban, suburban and rural areas.
All sessions are presented through a webinar format to allow maximum participation. You are invited to join any and all sessions at no charge. But registration is required. Please use the registration links for each session and register yourself for each session. A link to the webinar will be emailed to you following your registration.
“This material is based upon work supported by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture, through the Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education program under subaward number ENE18-150.”
|Nov 10, 2020
11am – 12:30pm
|Marketing: Strategies for Outreach
Marketing your market is important to success, but often a misunderstood concept. Lindsay will help us to develop a marketing plan that will reach your target audience and grow your customer base. Participants will come away with a comprehensive marketing plan and marketing checklist to help them keep on track with their marketing efforts.
|Lindsay Ott Wilcox, CenterMost Marketing||https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/4181115476104376079|
|Dec 3, 2020
Noon – 1:30pm
|Market Programs that Build Your Customer Base and Add Sales
Market programs can be effective ways to build a customer base. But they do create extra work. This session will help us to identify programs that will help build your market and enhance your market mission. We’ll learn how to plan and prepare for market programming, as well as evaluating its effectiveness.
|Beth Irons, Oneida County Public Market||https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/8298632590494205199|
|Dec 15, 2020
|Identifying and Reaching Unique Customers
Does your market appeal to unique customer bases? This session will look at programs that identify a specific target audience, how they pulled the program together and the impacts it has had on their market.
|Jackie Farrell, Westside Farmers Market
|Jan 12, 2021
|Marketing Integrity: Meeting Customer Expectations
Consumers support a farmers market because there is often an expectation that the product being displayed meets certain standards. During this session we’ll hear from two very different markets on how meet their customer’s expectations on product standards, product diversity and farm inspection.
|TK Zellers, GrowNYC
Amy Willis, Broome County Regional Farmers Market
|January 26, 2021||Lessons From the Field
In this session we will hear perspectives from farmers and vendors across NYS who participate in markets who made changes to their market operations based on recommendations in the toolkit. Join us to hear the farmers perspective on the toolkit, as well as changes that farmers can consider to increase their sales in the 2021 market season.
|Feb. 10, 2021
|Identifying and Overcoming Customer Obstacles
The toolkit identified obstacles to customers and proposed some potential solutions. This session will highlight both an urban and rural farmers market and initiatives that they implemented. We’ll learn how they designed programs and services to meet the needs of their customers to encourage continued shopping.
|Josie Moroney, Cooperstown Farmers Market
Steve Riddler, Troy Farmers Market
–Farmers Market Federation of NY
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