BC Association of Farmers' markets
Supporting BC farmers and sustaining our local food supply means ensuring we have land to farm and fresh food to eat. It's a way to nurture the places we live and visit.

Session Descriptions

Session Descriptions

2014 BCAFM Conference Workshops

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A Discussion on BC's Agricultural Land Reserve

Richard Bullock, Chair of the Agricultural Land Commission and Lenore Newman, University of the Fraser Valley

A discussion panel on the Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR) with Richard Bullock, Chair of the Agricultural Land Commission and Dr. Lenore Newman, Canada Research Chair in Food Security and Environment will educate delegates about the connection between the ALR, farmers’ markets and small farms.

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Lenore Newman - Powerpoint version PDF version

Demonstrating Value - Farmers Market Impact Toolkit

Annie Lambla, Toolkit Pilot Project Coordinator, Vancity Community Foundation
Garth Yule, Manager, Demonstrating Value, Vancity Community Foundation (2012)

This is an in-depth presentation on how to make the most of the Farmers’ Market Impact Toolkit and builds on what was introduced in the Strengthening Farmers’ Markets webinar on the subject. We will find out how to use the toolkit to analyze the importance of food security, environmentally sustainable practices, financial sustainability, and community engagement. Comprised of three parts: surveys, a data file, and a snapshot, the toolkit evaluates and communicates your farmers’ market’s social, economic, and ecological impacts.

Networking Roundtables

Facilitated by Chris Quinlan

This is a great opportunity for attendees to connect and discuss important issues unique to the BC farmers’ market community. Share, collaborate, and learn from one another as we reflect on our growth, successes, and delve into important issues affecting our sector.

Business Support and Financing Options for Local Small Growers and Processors

Moira Teevan, Vancity

Financing options and business planning support for small growers and small scale food processors.  Find out about the Local Food Micro-loan, an interest-rebate loan program offered by FarmFolk CityFolk in conjunction with Vancity, and the Small Growers Loan Fund.  Learn about Vancity’s Each One Grow One small business seminar series and other support available to help you grow and develop your business. 

Threat / Risk / Vulnerability Assessment in the Farmers Market Environment

Kevin Page, KLP Enterprises

The workshop will provide attendees with information on some basic TRA methodologies and how to conduct a physical site security survey. This will be an interactive session where attendees will be provided with a known farmers market location, we will then proceed to discuss and analyse specific potential TRA issues as a group. The session will close with a basic TRA format/template that caters to the specific needs and requirement of the farmers market in question.

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Meeting Requirements for Vending Fresh Meat at a Farmers' Market

Dave Abernethey, Summerfield Farms

To give interested parties a clear understanding of what will be required of them to prepare for, and receive health board approval for vending fresh unfrozen meat at a Farmers' Market.

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Growing for Year Round Markets

Andrew Arkesteyn-Vogler, Crisp Organics

Growing for the winter season  opens up many possibilities for the grower focused on local markets.  It keeps cash flow coming in and retains the relationship with customers and farm staff.  With some creativity and willingness to take a risk winter growing can become an important part of your business.

Leveraging Your Story to Build Sales

Robin B Crowder, 21 Acres Center for Local Food and Sustainable Living

Use marketing strategies and specific channels such as social media to tell your story and increase sales. Learn how to build a goldmine of information to tap into to set the stage, lay the groundwork and build a framework to create compelling connections with consumers. We’ll work on story-telling skills to generate in-market and on-farm sales and help businesses stand apart in a competitive marketplace.

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Connecting to Community Through Farm to School

Vanessa Perrodou - Farm to School BC Provincial Coordinator, Farm to School BC

Farm to School is broadly defined as a school-based initiative that connects schools (K-12) and local farms. The goal of the program is to ensure children have access to fresh, local, nutritious, safe and culturally appropriate foods while at school. Farm to School programs aim to improve student nutrition, and to provide students with educational opportunities about foods and the local food system, while supporting local farmers and the local food economy.

Like strawberry plants in summer, Farm to School keeps growing runners! In the past five years more than 75 programs have sprouted in BC bringing healthy, local and sustainable foods into our schools. While the evidence is still coming in, preliminary studies reveal these programs have had many positive impacts - teachers and parents report students are eating more fresh fruits and vegetables and a greater variety of foods, and farmers report they are receiving a modest reliable source of additional revenue. Farmers report the program has contributed to new cooperatives and food delivery models and that it has been a modest source of income.

This presentation will provide an overview about Farm to School BC including the many models that have been operating across the province. We will highlight the benefits and the challenges of running a successful program and the ways farms, schools and the broader community are overcoming such challenges! Participants will walk away with new ideas, tools and resources to engage in BC’s Farm to School movement and potentially grow their customer base at their local Farmers’ Market by forming relationships with the schools in their area.

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Market Integrity - Protecting the Farmer's Market Brand

Andrea Lawseth, AEL Agroecological Consulting, Grant Rice, Surrey Urban Farmers Market board (former), Ron Tamis, Rondriso Farms

Market Managers and board members are sometimes confronted with issues regarding the re-selling of product. Customers rely on the vendors that participate at farmer's markets to uphold the BCAFM credo of "make it, bake it, or grow it". When this trust is broken at a BCAFM member market, the ramifications can be damaging to the entire brand. This session will explore whether there should be a provincial response to the issues faced by individual markets.

This workshop will offer the perspectives of a farmer and farmers’ market board member, a former farmers’ market board member, and an agrologist with experience at both the board and management level of farmer's markets.

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Market Positioning Through Market Policies

Darren Stott, Green Chain Consulting

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Attracting & Maintaining a Talented & Diverse Volunteer Network

Laura Smit, Vancouver Farmers Markets

If you have ever volunteered or coordinated volunteers, you know that there are as many different reasons to volunteer as there are volunteers. Since farmers markets are dependent on a strong volunteer network, this workshop will focus on a few different kinds of volunteers, how to attract them, keep them and appropriately thank them for their efforts.

Come prepared to learn about some best practices, share your experience with other practitioners in the room and start building and/or strengthening your own volunteer (or volunteering!) strategy.

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Tools for Finding and Recruiting the Best Vendors for Your Market

Roberta LaQuaglia, Robyn Carlson and Jen Pleadwell, Vancouver Farmers Markets

In this session, you will learn about tools to use in the vendor recruitment process, criteria to base juries off of, types of products that are popular, trends in what vendors are wanting to sell, what shoppers are looking for.

GMO-Free Farmers' Markets

Carolyn Morris, Squamish Farmers Market and Andrew Murray, Royal City Farmers Market

The presenters will give an introduction to the topics of GMOs at Farmers' Markets. This will include their process of gathering feedback and what steps were used to initiate the policies and how we plan to uphold the policies at our markets. 

This will be followed by a time for questions and a healthy, productive, and non-confrontational 'Tibetan Style' debate.  The goal will be to leave markets empowered to make their decisions regarding GMO sales with some resources, strategies to collect data and ideas to initiate if they choose.

Small/Medium Farm Product Distribution: Filling Distribution Gap Between Farmers and Buyers

Darren Stott, Green Chain Consulting

The opportunity of how to transport and distribute locally produced food to interested wholesale buyers still persists. What systems are needed to support farm sales to restaurants, caterers, institutions, and grocers? FarmFolk CityFolk’s feasibility study takes a pragmatic approach to this question. Erin Nichols and Darren Stott will present their findings and then engage farmers in a discussion of how to pilot a brokering/transportation service for the Lower Mainland in 2014-2015, and in other areas of the province in the future.

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BC Beer, Wine and Liquor Sales at Farmers Markets

Melanie Golder, Liquor Control and Licensing Branch, Province of British Columbia

This workshop will provide information on the proposed model for permitting liquor sales at Farmers Markets and an overview of licensing policy framework for retail and manufacturers and describing different sub-types of manufacturers (i.e. craft distilleries). The presentation will include a discussion and input from those attending.

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Market Psychology – Using Best Strategies and Behavioral Economics to Drive Sales at Markets

Robin B Crowder, 21 Acres Center for Local Food and Sustainable Living

You will learn how to use behavioral economics, sales and promotion tactics, smart pricing, display strategy and booth design to take advantage of consumer buying psychology to generate increased market sales. These methods are proven to work and inexpensive to implement.  This is less about beautiful display and more about strategic placement, consumer education, and ways to better engage customers to ultimately build stronger retail demand.

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Record keeping for Farmers at Farmers Markets 

Chris Bodnar, Close to Home Organics

Tracking sales at farmers markets isn't difficult, but establishing a system is crucial for the overall record-keeping of any farm operation. This workshop will provide an overview of different ways to track inventory and sales at farmers markets. Participants will get samples of paper tracking/record sheets as well as a list of electronic resources for tracking inventory and sales. We will discuss ways of integrating record-keeping with other functions such as accepting various payment methods at market. We will do real-time examples of harvest-to-market-to-bookkeeping records using these tools.

Uploaded presentation: Powerpoint version  PDF version

Social Media Toolkit

Kirstin Richter, Principal Creative Director, The Social Agency

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram... where to begin? This session will provide tips and best practices for using social media to promote your market.

Specifically the following will be covered:

  • Defining (and differentiating) social media channels
  • Tips for using Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram as a marketing tool
  • Facebook ads and sponsored posts
  • Case studies and "what-not-to-do"

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