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									    Guide to starting a farmers’ market at SFU

    Peak of Perfection
       June 13th, 2007




           Local Foods

A     framework
to analyze the
industry of
markets and
offer strategic
direction for
                                                               Food!
                                                               Farmers’ markets offer
future action                                                  an array of fresh local
                                                               foods




                         I n a s s o c i a t i o n w i t h S F U Lo ca l Fo o d G r o u p
“There is substantial evidence for the claim that the
presence of various channels for the local exchange of
food enhances health, food-security, and well-being
  for persons, communities, and ecological systems”
                              ( Gup t i ll & Wi lk i ns, 2002, p . 40)




          Lets get star ted
       Contents
Introduction                                    1
                                                    Introduction
Research Methods                                1

Industry Analysis                               2
Overview                                        2
Vendors                                         2
Customers                                       2
Sustainability                                  2

Specifics                                       4                                                    M ike Br yde, Paul Peters and Vi rginia Yi p
                                                                                                     s e e n l e f t a re t h e d r i v i n g f o rce b e h i n d t h e
Site Analysis                                   4                                                    Pea k of Per fec tion fa r mer s’s market at
                                                                                                     S imo n Fraser Univer sit y.
Stakeholders                                    5
Notes                                           6
References                                      7


                                                    T
                                                               oday’s global economy makes it increasingly difficult for proponents of a local
                                                               economy to offer alternatives to the mass market. Farmers’ markets are one al-
                                                               ternative where locally produced goods can be sold to a local market, helping to
                                                               improve the sustainability of that region (U of California study). Farmers’ markets
                                                    have grown in popularity in recent years. In Canada, between 1980 and 1994, the number
                                                    of markets has more than doubled to 425 farmers’ markets (Feagan, Morris, & Krug, 2004).
                                                    In BC, farmers’ markets have grown from 60 markets in 2000 to 100 in 2006. Within the
                                                    environment of a growing demand for farmers’ markets, this report introduces a framework to
                                                    analyze the industry of markets and offers strategic direction for future action in the context
                                                    of creating a farmers’ market at SFU’s Burnaby campus.




                                                    Research Methods



                                                    B
                                                             oth primary and secondary research was conducted for this report. At Trout Lake
                                                             Farmers’ Market and Coquitlam Farmers Market we completed casual interviews
                                                             with market coordinators, vendors, and customers.
 PRODUCED BY

 Mike Bryde
 Paul Peters
 Virginia Yip


 This guide to star ting a farmers’
 m a r ke t a t S F U wa s p ro d u ce d by S F U
 students for the S emester in D ia-
 l o g u e p ro g ra m .
                                                                                                      can offer foods like fresh fruit, veg-




 Industr y
                                                                                                      etables, prepared foods, and baked goods
                                                                                                      such as flowers, plants, crafts, and art.

                                                                                                      One significant finding from our inter-
                                                                                                      views is that different types of vendors
                                                                                                      vary in their willingness to participate in



 Anal ys i s
 Framework for analyzing the farmers’
                                                                                                      markets. Artisans and prepared food ven-
                                                                                                      dors are “lining up” to sell their products
                                                                                                      at markets while market managers must
                                                                                                      work hard to secure fruit and vegetable
                                                                                                      growers. Furthermore, market interviews
                                                                                                      with vendors indicated that fruit and
                                                                                                      vegetable growers (fresh produce vendors)
                                                                                                      are the most important to the attractive-
 market industry                                                                                      ness of a farmers’ market in general.




  T
               o analyze the environment in which farmers’           Fresh produce is what entices customers to come to the market. Once
               markets operate, we have created a framework          customers arrive, they are attracted by the interesting products other
               that was inspired by Porter’s Five Force Analy-       vendors have to offer. This makes produce growers integral to the success
               sis (Hill & Jones, 2004). Our framework helps         of a market.
               us understand the factors involved in running a
               farmers’ market as a mechanism for sustainabil-       The challenge of recruiting farmers exists as a result of economic and
               ity. The framework used in this section provides      political issues that are beyond the scope of this report. However, one
information at a general level of analysis. Information regarding    journal article from the Journal of Alternative Agriculture provides some
the specifics of a farmers’ market at Simon Fraser University is     information that helps to form a possible targeted approach to recruit-
provided in the next section.                                        ing produce growers. Young, organic growers, in the growth stage of their
                                                                     businesses, who can sell the majority of their farm’s output at a farmers’
Our framework (see page 3) includes the areas of vendors,            market may be the most likely to be satisfied with the profitability of do-
customers, sustainability, and getting started. In each of these     ing business at a farmers’ market (see note 1 for details).
areas, we offer a perspective on how to formulate strategies for a
successful farmers’ market based on our research about operat-
ing a farmers’ market. In the next section, we use both the in-      Customers
dustry-level and SFU-level information to construct a strategic
                                                                     To make a vendor’s trip to a farmers’ market profitable, they must gain
direction for a farmers’ market at SFU.
                                                                     access to a steady stream of customers who will buy the vendors’ prod-
                                                                     ucts. The job of the market then becomes (1) finding an appropriate
Overview                                                             space that is conducive to bringing customers to your vendors, and (2)
                                                                     promoting the market to attract customers to that space.
One question that a market manager needs to ask before creat-
ing a farmers’ market is this: How does a market sustain itself      Customers attend farmers’ markets for the “freshness of goods, quality
economically? It must bring in revenues to pay for someone to        and variety of produce, social atmosphere and growing concerns for food
organize the market and to pay for operating expenses. A mar-        safety issues” (Feagan et al., 2004). Farmers’ markets provide direct access
ket can earn these revenues by charging vendors for retail space     for customers to purchase food that has been picked fresh from the farm
at the market. But these revenues are only justified if the market   as well as other locally produced goods. A study conducted by the Uni-
can attract a steady group of customers. Additionally, markets       versity of Northern British Columbia and the BC Association of Farmers’
are nonprofit organizations. Since their end goal is not profit,     Markets estimates that the direct annual impact of farmers’ markets to
their output, instead, is a contribution to sustainability.          the BC economy to be $65.3 million (Connell, Hillman, & Humphrey,
                                                                     2006
Vendors
                                                                     Sustainability
From interviews with market managers from two lower main-
land farmers’ markets (Vancouver and Coquitlam) it was clear         A farmers’ market at Simon Fraser University is an opportunity to provide
that vendors are the main ingredient to what will sustain a          a community with local foods, create a place for community interac-
market, both in terms of how they will bring in revenues and         tion, promote economic diversity and provide a framework for academic
how a market would not exist without them. For these reasons,        research and consumer education. A characteristic of urban living is the
it is essential for the market manager to recruit vendors to the     fact that food consumption of the majority of urban dwellers comes from
market.                                                              outside of the urban area (Shakow, 1981). A farmers’ market provides the
                                                                     ability to provide local foods to the consumer. There is currently a lack of
Farmers’ markets are a great place for many different types          available fresh local produce at SFU and the farmers’ market will provide
of vendors to come together to sell at one market. A market          the mechanism for introducing local, healthy foods into the community.


   2      EUGUER ELIQUAT
The SFU farmers’ market can draw upon            driver for consumers and farmers to attend     neurs (Brown, 2002).
the lessons learned in the Niagara region        the markets (Brown, 2002). This awareness
of Ontario. Farmers’ markets are seen as an      leads to better farm practices through the     Additionally, the local businesses cur-
integral part in enhancing local and alterna-    education of farmers.                          rently located in the Cornestone building
tive food systems to contribute to the long-                                                    at UniverCity will benefit from an increase
term sustainability of the region (Feagan et     According to Brown (2002), social and po-      in tourists and local residents due to the
al., 2004). The Niagara region faced local       litical effects of markets and marketplaces    attraction of a farmers’ market (Brown,
food challenges similar to what the Lower        have been seen throughout history. For         2002).
Mainland is facing. They experienced the         instance the economic multiplier effect of
                                                 farmer’s markets has been proven to boost      Farmers’ markets are also a great resource
extensive pressures of residential develop-
                                                 the overall economy. The market increases      for education and research. At SFU, a
ment into their agricultural lands, which
                                                 the number of jobs and builds new busi-        farmers’ market could provide a research
resulted in an external dependence on their
                                                 nesses; markets strengthen and diversify       mechanism for studying consumer attitudes
food supply (Feagan et al., 2004). Niagara’s
                                                 regional agriculture and increase farm         towards chemical use, attitudes towards
farmers’ markets were able to rebuild the
                                                 profitability and farmers’ markets serve as    sustainable agriculture, and how consumers
relationships between farmers and consumers
                                                 business incubators (Brown, 2002). Mar-        can induce better farm practices (Brown,
and stimulate the local agricultural industry
                                                 ket’s help circulate money within a local      2002). The local residents can benefit from
in order to preserve farmland. Creating these
                                                 community which might otherwise be spent       the market by learning from local farmers
connections is an example of how to increase
                                                 on imported goods. Markets draw people         about how they can be more food conscious
consumer awareness around the source of
                                                 in, they provide supplemental income to        with regards to eating seasonally, how to
their food and the processes that are in-
                                                 participants and hired workers, and they       cook local foods, and from educational
volved in its production. The social interac-
                                                 can teach business skills to young entrepre-   seminars based on urban agriculture.
tion that occurs at a farmers’ market is a key

                                                                                                                         LOREM IPSUM   3
Specifics                                         Location, location, location
                                                   Does the area experience high foot or vehicle traffic?
Ready, Set, Go!                                                              I s t h e a rea v i s i bl e a n d ea s y to a cces s?

                                                                             I s t h ere pa r k i n g a n d pu bl i c t ra ns p o r tatio n




  T
              he BC Association of Farmers’
                                                                             ava i l a bl e?
              Markets provides the following
              guidelines for starting a farm-
              ers’ market. First, determining
              a location is very important;
              studies have revealed that loca-
                                                                                              Also Consider
              tion is crucial to the success of
a farmer’s market.                                                                              ·    G ro u p i n s u ra n ce
                                                                                                ·    Stall fees
To be able to operate, it is necessary to
                                                                                                ·    BC Association of Farmer ’s
register as a non-profit society. The package
                                                                                                     M a r ke t m e m b e r s h i p fe e s
of information can be obtained through your
                                                                                                ·    M a r ke t r u l e s a n d re g u l a
local Access Center. Some of the fees include
                                                                                                     tions
a name search ($30.00) and a registration of
                                                                                                ·    O rg a n i z at i o n a l d e s i g n ( l o
the society ($100.00). A business license is
                                                                                                     c at i o n o f s t a l l s, s etting up
required and will encompass all vendors for
                                                                                                     a n d a m en i t i es )
one license.
                                                                                                ·    Signage, adver tising and
A set of bylaws and a constitution will need                                                         pro m o t i o n a l m ateria l
to be drawn up to outline the day-to-day
operations, and vendor rules.


Site Analysis                                                                                                  What time
                                                                                                             and day is best
The following sites were analyzed, and it
was determined for all the sties with the
                                                                                                            for both vendors
exception of parking lots, we had to first go                                                                and customers?
through the Simon Fraser Student Society
to obtain consent to use one of the potential
spaces. After doing a site analysis, we dis-
covered that the Cornerstone Square is the
best location for a potential Farmer’s Market.
                                                                                              Success Factors
                                                                                              Securing fresh produce vendors
                                                                                              Bringing a steady stream of cus
                                                                                              tomers to the market by choosing a
                                                                                              suitable space
                                                                                              Overcoming market startup costs
                                                                                              through collaboration




   4      EUGUER ELIQUAT
                                             makes up the largest amount of income;
                                             therefore, having the market on week-
                                             days could pose a parking problem. Da-
                                                                                          SFU Customers
 St a keh o ld er s                          vid has suggested to look into doing the
                                             market on the weekend as this option         The Burnaby Campus of SFU is a
                                             might be more feasible for the parking
                                                                                          growing community of students,
                                             department. He further mentioned that
                                             the E lot (Staff Parking) could be anoth-    staff, faculty, and UniverCity resi-
                                             er option. Agosti and his team are cur-      dents. We conducted a survey to

S
       imon Fraser Student Socitey - after   rently working on a parking site analysis    obtain preliminary data that would
       speaking with Teri Pattison the key   for the farmers’ market and will produce
       person in charge of rentals, she
                                                                                          help us understand the consumer
                                             a report when he has more information
gave us some key points to consider.                                                      demand for a farmers’ market
                                             on potential possibilities. If the parking
First, if an external body hosts the farm-   poses a barrier, having a drop-off zone      at SFU. Although the voluntary
er’s market – rather than SFU - liability,   might be possible. For instance, if some-    responses received could be biased
billing and insurance create more com-       one had to park further away and could       based on interest in farmers’ mar-
plications and increase the cost of start-   not carry all the groceries, volunteers
ing a market. For this reason, we sug-
                                                                                          kets by respondents, the survey
                                             could help by loading ticketed bags into
gest that it’s more feasible to have an                                                   results indicate that there is a de-
                                             the designated loading zone.
SFU organization such as SFSS, SFPRIG                                                     mand. In particular, SFU customers


                                             U
(Simon Fraser Public Research Inter-                 niverCity - After speaking with      would be interested in going to the
est Group) to co-sponsor the farmer’s                some of the merchants in the         market on a weekday afternoon to
market with a larger organization that               Cornerstone building about the
already exists such as Coquitlam Farm-       possibility of creating a farmers’ mar-
                                                                                          buy fruits and vegetables, primarily
ers’ Market. Teri indicated that the Cor-    ket, we received great support. De-          for their nutritional content (See
nerstone Square is a great opportunity       loris from Nature’s Garden was really        Note 3 for details of the survey
and is excited for something to happen       keen on the idea and suggested that          questions and results). We recom-
there, due to its great central location.    we should focus on organic products.         mend that further market research
                                             Other merchants liked the idea, as the
                                                                                          be completed to determine more

F
      acilities (SFU) - in order to make     farmer’s market will be complemen-
      sure that vendors could have           tary to their business bringing people       specific information for operations.
      easy access to amenities such as       to the area that might otherwise come
washrooms and hot or cold water in the       there. Danny and Young Lee, owners of        In addition to the survey, one jour-
Cornerstone Square, we spoke to Frank        the convenience store, did not seem to       nal article provides a good indica-
De Vita, Superintendent of Grounds,          like the idea of the market because it       tion that locating a farmers’ market
who indicated that this should not be a      could potentially take business away.
problem. De Vita explained that once
                                                                                          at SFU would provide staff and
                                             Nancy McCuaig the Community Liaison
the site and date are secured, he could                                                   other community members with
                                             Manger for the SFU Community Trust
provide the water from the Cornerstone       acknowledges Lee’s concern, but is sup-      convenient access to local food. In
building. Washrooms could be easily ac-      portive of the farmer’s market. McCuaig      a market intervention study, one
cessed within the Cornerstone building       has offered to help with promoting the       quarter of staff members at a large
or in the Computer Science Department.       farmer’s market when the time comes.         work site bought local food as a re-
                                                                                          sult of the convenience of its avail-

P
      arking Services (SFU) - for cus-
      tomers who will be commuting                                                        ability (see Note 2 for details).
      by vehicle to the farmer’s market,
free and accessible parking is important
as customers do not want the hassle           Moving Forward
to search for parking or even having
to pay. Signs and visibility of avail-       We discovered that in order to introduce a farmers’ market to the community at
able parking are important factors for       SFU the next step is getting an organization to take on this exciting project. The
customers. We considered the need
                                             research in this report provides evidence that a farmers’ market at SFU is a viable
for more potential parking space be-
cause turnover rates might be slower
                                             idea for improving the sustainability of the community. From here, the information
since people might want to stay longer.      in this report can be used to pitch the SFU farmers’ market concept to interested
We contacted the manager of parking          organizations that will see the project to fruition. Although we have not contacted
services David Agosti to see whether         particular organizations, potential organizations include Simon Fraser Student So-
they can negotiate courtesy parking on       ciety (SFSS) and Simon Fraser Public Interest Research Group (SFP!RG). Once an
market days. Agosti explained that the       SFU organizing body is secured, a colaboration between that organization and the
Visitors’ lot at SFU during the weekdays     Coquitlam Farmers’ Market can then be pitched.

                                                                                                                LOREM IPSUM   5
N o t e s                                                        that those who responded did so because they were inter-
                                                                 ested in a farmers’ market at SFU.

Note 1                                                           59% of respondents rated nutritional content as a very
                                                                 important factor when they buy food. The next two high-
An article on “Producer satisfaction with returns from           est rated factors, at 31% and 30%, were animal welfare
farmers’ market related activity” in the Journal of Alterna-     and low price, respectively. The majority of respondents
tive Agriculture surveyed New Jersey growers to determine        also indicated that buying local, buying BC, or buying
the relationship between satisfaction with profitability         Canada was either very important or close to very impor-
and other variables (Govindasamy, 2003). An analysis of          tant in their buying criteria.
the survey revealed some characteristics that appear to
have a statistically significant effect on grower satisfaction   When asked what interested them most in a farmers’
with profitability. Young farmers (under the age of 50),         market, the overwhelming response was the “availability of
farmers who grow organically, farmers who sell the major-        fresh local food”. Unfortunately, the wording of the ques-
ity of their farm outputs at farmers’ markets, and farmers       tion prevented us from understanding whether it was the
who are in the growth stage of their business are all likely     “fresh” or the “local” part that was of interest. It would be
to be satisfied with their returns from selling at a farmers’    beneficial to explore this question including these differ-
market.                                                          ences in future surveys.

Given the difficulty in attracting produce vendors to a          89% of respondents indicated that they would attend
farmers’ market, this article offers information that sup-       a farmers’ market at the SFU Burnaby campus once a
ports a targeted approach to recruiting farmers.                 month or more often. 76% would attend two to three
                                                                 times a month or more. This response indicates that there
                                                                 is a strong interest in a farmers’ market at SFU.
Note 2
                                                                 Of possible items to be showcased in the farmers’ market,
Ross et al. (1999) in the Journal of Alternative Agriculture     the greatest interest appears to be in fruits and vegetables.
presents strong evidence that the workplace presents a           82% were very interested in fruits and 77% were very
significant opportunity to sell local produce to employees.      interested in vegetables. Cheeses and breads also have
The article builds on literature that indicates consumers        strong potential, with one third of respondents indicating
prefer local foods, “yet very few consumers go out of their      they were very interested in these products. Artisan goods,
way to buy locally grown produce” (p. 171). The study            value-added goods, and meats all appear relatively un-
conducted a market intervention in a workplace in Maine,         popular. However, these results represent only what local
introducing the availability of local produce through a          products respondents are interested in. In interviews with
workplace ordering system. It was determined that the            vendors we discovered that the staple of a good farmers’
largest barrier to buying local produce was the inconve-         market is the produce vendor. Other vendors benefit from
nience of traveling to a separate location. The interven-        the customers that produce vendors bring to the market.
tion resulted in a success: “more than a quarter of workers      Once at the market, many customers end up purchasing
bought locally grown produce at their workplaces during          other items.
the intervention” (p. 176).
                                                                 Survey results clearly indicate that a weekday would be
                                                                 more popular than a weekend. Every weekday was more
Note 3                                                           than twice as popular as the weekend. The highest inter-
We sent out a twelve question survey to the SFU commu-           est was in Friday (192 responses), Thursday (174), and
nity of students, staff, faculty, and UniverCity residents.      Wednesday (179). Comparatively, Saturday and Sunday
The survey received over 400 responses. 77% were female          came in with 113 and 105 responses, respectively.
and 23% were male. 97% of respondents are responsible            For time of day, the afternoon (12:00 pm – 4:00 pm) was
for some, most, or all of the grocery shopping in their          nearly three times more popular than the morning and
household.                                                       twice as popular as the evening. In hindsight, a 2:00 pm
Many respondents appear to have an existing interest in          – 6:00 pm time period may be more appropriate, given
farmers’ markets. 42% attend a farmers’ market once a            that many staff get off work between 4:00 and 5:00. Fu-
month or more and 73% attend a farmers’ market 2-3               ture surveys should seek to find out the popularity of this
times a year or more. This may bias the survey results in        time slot and if customers are likely to shop right before
                                                                 they go home.

  6       EUGUER ELIQUAT
References
Agosti, David- Parking Manager (personal com-          McCuaig, Nancy UniverCity Community Liaison
munication, June 11, 2007)                             (personal communication, May 25, 2007)

Brown, A. (2002). Farmers’ market research 1940-       Pattison, Teri - SFSS Rentals (personal communi-
2000: An inventory and review. [Electronic ver-        cation, June 4th, 2007)
sion]. American Journal of Alternative Agricul-
ture, 17(4), 167.
                                                       Ross, N. J., Anderson, M. D., Goldberg, J. P.,
Connell, D.J., Taggart, T., Hillman, K., & Hum-
                                                       Houser, R., & Rogers, B. L. (1999). Trying and
phrey, A., (2006). Economic and Community
                                                       buying locally grown produce at the workplace:
Impacts of Farmers Markets in British Columbia.
                                                       Results of a marketing intervention. American
Derden, L.E., & Feenstra G. (2006). Regional           Journal of Alternative Agriculture, 14(4; 4), 171-
Agricultural Marketing: A Review of Programs in        179.
California.
                                                       Shakow, D. (1981). New Directions in Public Ser-
Devita, Frank-Facilities Superintendent (personal      vices. Economic Geography, 57(1), 68-77.
communication, June 4th,2007)
                                                       Storness-Bliss, Deloris owner of Nature’s Garden
Feagan, R., Morris, D., & Krug, K. (2004). Niaga-
                                                       Café (personal communication, May 25, 2007)
ra region farmers’ markets: Local food systems and
sustainability considerations. [Electronic version].
Local Environment, 9(3), 235.
Guptil, A. & Wilkins, J. L. (2002) Buying into the
food system: trends in food retailing in the US and
implications for local foods, Agriculture and Hu-
man Values, 19, pp. 39–51.
Govindasamy, R., Italia, J., Zurbriggen, M., &
Hossain, F. (2003). Producer satisfaction with re-
turns from farmers’ market related activity. Ameri-
can Journal of Alternative Agriculture, 18, 80-86.
Hill, W. L., & Jones, G. R. (2004). Strategic man-
agement: an integrated approach. Boston: Hough-
ton Mifflin Company.
How to Start a Farmer’s Market retrieved on the
world wide web at: www.bcfarmersmarket.org/
web/markets/howtostart.htm on Saturday June 9,
2007.
Lee, Danny and Young Cornerstone grocery store
merchants (personal communication, May 25,
2007)

								
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