Advance Planning: This lists many of the items that should be decided at the start of the market program:
- Bringing together persons/groups to help organize the markets
- Identifying sponsor
- Developing market organizing committee.
- Identifying and securing market site: making land use agreements
- Generating local business support and local community support
- Dealing with competition and possible business or community opposition
- Outreach to farmers to announce market
- Developing a budget
- Identifying sources of funds, materials, equipment, etc.
- Develop a schedule
Schedule: This establishes a timetable for setting up each farmers' market. This timetable covers activities described in this plan, including:
- Outreach to farmers; farmer information about the farmers' market
- Opening and closing dates for the season
- Preparation of promotional materials
- Preparing sites and facilities
- Developing materials for farmer training
- Promotion and public relations
- State assistance (Department of Agriculture)
- Local assistance
- Private assistance
- Farmers fees
Market Site/Location: The location needs to take many factors into account:
- Proximity to other businesses or activity
- Population density, types
- Zoning rules
- Neighborhood attractiveness
- Size needs - number of farmers and parking
- Potential for expansion
- Access, transportation options
- Traffic movement
- Maintenance and safety
- Storage of materials
- Availability, times/schedules
- Location of other (competing) produce outlets
- Structural qualities - eg., ground surface, fencing, etc. - renovations
- Restrooms, food, water, telephone for farmers
- Weather protection - rain, heat/sun
- Legal permits
- Handicap access
- Other activities - e.g., music, crafts, displays, food demonstrations
Market Budget: This establishes the cost of setting up the markets and running them for the first year.
- Site cost - if any
- Publicity and advertising - signs, posters, media, etc.
- Personnel - market manager
- Supplies - banner, signs, etc.
- Insurance, permits, etc.
Market Organization: Planning or Steering Committee:
- Market organizational structure - formal or informal; for-profit or non-profit or cooperative, partnership; or incorporated
- Committee composition
- Role of farmers
- Selecting the market manager
- Participation of neighboring community/businesses
- Structure, rules/by-laws
Farmers' Market Operation: This covers the day-to-day running of the markets:
- Dates of operation - length of season
- Number of days per week
- Hours open
- Sponsor agency or group
- Staff - market manager, volunteers - responsibilities
- Selecting market manager, setting responsibilities
- Market steering committee - functions
Operations: (market manager)
- Setting-up and closing the market
- Putting up banners and signs
- Number of farmers and their stall positions
- Collecting fees
- Resolving issues such as price, stall locations, eligible foods, etc.
- Cleaning and upkeep/maintenance and repair
- Enforcing guidelines
- Banking arrangements
Determining Products for Sale: This defines what can be sold and whom; and what is excluded:
- Unprocessed foods: - Fruits and vegetables, dairy, eggs, meats and poultry
- Processed foods: - Baked goods, honey, jams, other prepared or processed foods
- Non-foods: - Plants, nursery items, flowers, crafts, other non-foods; Public information, other booths with information
Source of foods:
- Sell what you grow only.
- Cooperative or consignment sales
Rules and Guidelines: These are needed to establish how the market will be operated with standard rules for everyone and is important to help the market manager run a smooth market:
- Hours of operation
- Farmer eligibility to sell at the market
- Stall assignments
- Eligible products
Market operations regulations:
- Establishing duties of market manager and staff
- Setting and collecting fees
- Weights and measures
- Liability insurance
- Taxes, licenses
- Health code requirements
- Cleanliness, trash disposal
- Food Stamps
- Farmers' Market Coupons
- Enforcement procedures and penalties
- Short-term or emergency decisions
Promotion: This describes the various ways the market can be publicized:
- Publicity budget
- Flyers, brochures
- Radio or TV
- Other methods (bumper stickers)
- Stories, press releases, Public Service Announcements
- Special events - music, festivals, etc.
- Public Relations with neighboring merchants
- Chamber of commerce, or business associations
- Coupon discounts
- Contacting other groups and businesses.
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