Rebuilding Consumer Trust in Farmers' Markets
Greenbelt Farmers' Market Network
$49,998.35 (over 1 year)
Grant Stream: Prosperous Greenbelt
Grant Approved: July 2018
The Greenbelt Farmers’ Market Network (GFMN) plays a leadership role in strengthening farmers’ markets in the Greater Golden Horseshoe. The network hosts an annual Market Manager’s Day to provide professional development to market managers and farm vendors. They recently launched a digital matchmaking tool to connect managers and farmers. This helps foster product development, as well as the creation of consumer loyalty programs, and measures vendor sales and other indicators of success every five years. The network utilizes newsletters and emails to communicate regular updates to market managers, including news for vendors and customers.
The Greenbelt Farmers’ Markets Network (GFMN) is playing a leadership role in improving the sustainability of farmers’ markets in the Greater Golden Horseshoe.
In 2018-2019, the GFMN focused on increasing the volume, diversity, and sales of local food for Greenbelt farmers. It also raised public awareness of local agriculture. Project efforts supported strengthening the value of 90 farmers’ markets to farmers, consumers, and rural and urban communities. Outcomes of this project included an expansion of GBFM’s digital matchmaking tool, further support for market managers to improve transparency, the creation of shared resources for the network members, and a farmer’s market survey that determined long-term trends, challenges, and threats to the markets.
The Greenbelt Foundation’s investment in the GMFM has laid the foundation for a financially sustainable model, dedicated to increasing and supporting the economic and social value of Greenbelt-region famers’ markets. Findings from the project indicated that broad strategies applied to all farmers’ markets were less effective in an environment with a diverse array of needs. Therefore, future efforts were focused on providing more customized and localized solutions for the markets.
Photo: Laura Berman