Farmers’ markets

With a new season for farmers’ markets ramping up, memberships to Farmers’ Markets Ontario (FMO) are on the rise with a current total of 183 members province-wide. Opportunities for better market management are available from new programs and resources. 

 

New this year is the Manager Certification program, a professional development course consisting of 12 webinars, developed by FMO and Michelle Wolf, a former market manager herself. No two markets are alike. “That’s the biggest challenge,” says Catherine Clark, executive director of FMO.  “(We’re) trying to give them the tools to help them think about what they should be doing.”

 

Some of the tools include standard-type business practices, such as record keeping and working with a board. “It empowers them to work towards what’s recommended,” says Clark.  FMO is now working on a vendor certification program and aims to have it ready in early 2019.

 

FMO now also offers customers with the assurance that food is produced and sold by a verified farmer through MyPick. Farms are visited by FMO and proven to be primary producers who are selling what’s produced on the farm and are not resellers. “This whole generation of consumers wanting to know where their food is coming from is becoming more of a priority,” Clark says.

 

The reseller issue is not likely to go away, and Clark says FMO doesn’t feel that all markets should be pure. “Resellers have a place,” says Clark.  “Markets do need them.” However, through the MyPick identification, consumers will be able to make their own shopping decisions on vendors they wish to buy from.

 

Membership to FMO continues to increase. Clark says nine new markets have come onboard this year. Havelock will be opening its first market in June and the Peterborough Regional Farmers’ Market will open in approximately two weeks. Overseeing Havelock’s market is Elmer Buchanan, an ex-Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. “He is very vocal about what a farmers’ market should be and it fits with our philosophy,” Clark says. 

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Publish date: 
Friday, June 1, 2018

Comments (1)

  • anon
    sharon (not verified)

    The Farmers Market's have now become Walmart's and SuperCentre as it's like walking through the stores to shop. The problem with the Re-sellers is they bring in everything that we as a Farmer work hard to grow and flood the market with all the same product making it difficult to make a living and than raise the price's to try to double their money and than complain to us as a Farmer that we should all be selling at the same price and its not fair...Funny don't you think ? My cripe is as a Farmer we should be treated better and with more respect than we get both from the Vendor.s and the Market Managers who tend to prefer the Re-sellers over us Farmers because they start and close the Markets...Same with My Pick nothing against but you shouldn't have to go through that process to prove your a farmer just to survive in this hostile environment. There many documents you can display to prove your Farmer as well as open your farm to having them take a look and see.....this is my oppinon .. We are but maybe 3 farmer's out of over 50 Vendors and over 25-30 plus carrying all the same product's and when you try to make suggestions we just don't anymore as they don't want to hear it... thanks for listening...what needs to be done is to put re-sellers in their place as an added feature as carrying more diversified products and not be able to bring all the Local fruits and Veggies as a Farmer I grow and flood the market, making it a more stable place for us to come and sell what we work so hard to grow and produce,,,,as a small family farm who runs and operates our farm there is no work crew just us..and what will happen we and others like us will just quit and slowly there will no longer be any real farmers who grow with their heart an soul... WITHOUT US FARMERS THERE WOULD BE NO PRODUCT TO SELL, yet were treated with no respect..

    Jun 04, 2018

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