Artisan Farmers’ Markets: Triple Bottom Line of Farmers’ Markets (Burnaby)

Project Summary

Purpose

Title: The Triple Bottom Line of Farmers’ Markets – Choosing People, Planet or Profit?

Artisan Farmers’ Markets wants to discover which aspects of the Burnaby Market are most important to a vendor when deciding where they choose to sell and the reasons why vendors stop selling. In casual talks with farmers, core reasons discussed include the amount of money that can be made, the market’s location, if kids can help sell and a farmer’s established customer base.

Areas of Focus

  • Farmers markets
  • Economic development

Skills

  • Market-based observation and analysis of individual and consumer behaviour

Location

  • The project will primarily take place at the Burnaby Farmers’ Market in the Burnaby City Hall Parking lot, which has nearby transit.

Work will also be done on the phone, via email, and potentially farm and vendor visits.

Special Considerations

  • Students must be comfortable working outdoors in all weather conditions and capable of moderate physical activity

Organization Information

Name

Artisan Farmers’ Markets Society

Mission + Vision

Vision: To celebrate BC farmers, food and handmade items in vibrant, welcoming, community-connected markets. Mission: To connect consumers with local farmers, small food producers and artisanal makers in order to support the community’s financial, social and environmental objectives.

Guiding Principles + Values: To support local farmers and small business people who grow, make or bake their product in BC by creating strong sales channels

To expand the variety and quality of local produce and products for consumers, especially small scale agricultural and specialty farm products

To educate the buying public on how their food and other essential products are produced and used, including locally grown options, nutrition awareness, seasonal eating and the historical roots of farming in our community


Primary Contact

  • Contact Person(s): Tara Immell, General Manager
  • Email: tara@artisanmarkets.ca
  • Address: Burnaby, Lonsdale Quay, or Ambleside Farmers’ Markets
  • Phone: 604-357-4796
  • Website: www.artisanmarkets.ca
  • Best time(s) method(s) to contact: anytime via email

Project Description

Every week from May to October, Artisan Farmers’ Markets provides a selling opportunity for over 150 local small business owners including farmers, food producers and crafters. Businesses choose to sell weekly, monthly, or maybe only once a year. Some businesses will have over 10 years’ experience, while other businesses are just getting started in their first year.

Using conversational interviews with this year’s and last year’s vendors, plus ten years of past vendor records, students will discuss and document the core reasons why farmers and other vendors choose to sell at particular markets. Research done in 2010 provides a foundation for this year’s project. See page 22 of goo.gl/4YVMKV.

The farmers and small business owners who sell at Burnaby Farmers’ Markets often sell at a number of different farmers’ markets in Metro Vancouver. For example, vendors may also sell at North Vancouver, West Vancouver, Vancouver, White Rock, Coquitlam, Langley and more.

Artisan Farmers’ Markets wants to discover which aspects of the Burnaby Market are most important to a vendor when deciding where they choose to sell and the reasons why vendors stop selling. In casual talks with farmers, core reasons discussed include the amount of money that can be made, the market’s location, if kids can help sell and a farmer’s established customer base.

The goal of the project is to isolate and rank why farmers, food processors, and crafters stop selling at the Burnaby Market. Having this information from vendors will inform the Artisan Farmers’ Markets on how to best attract and retain more vendors for 2018 to grow markets in Burnaby. A wider outcome will be achieved by having the student report highlight "make or break" situations that lead a farming vendor to decide "this market is not worth my while" after a season or a couple of markets. The student report will be shared with over 145 markets through the BC Association of Farmers’ Markets.

Skills Preferred + To Be Developed

  • Strong verbal and written communication skills
  • MS Word and MS Excel/Google Sheets proficiency, including Tables & Charts
  • Eagerness to learn more about local economic, community and environmental impact of farmers’ markets – especially relating to farmers

Preferred Days of Week and Hours

  • Much of the project will be self-scheduled.
  • Conversations with farmers and other vendors will need to take place on market days. On-site discussions, flexible with the students’ schedules, can occur through to the end of October on Saturdays, between 8:30AM and 2:30PM.
  • Students can also choose to arrange individual farm and vendor visits, and visit other farmers’ markets most convenient for them.

Project/Partner Orientation

Students are requested to be familiar with the businesses selling at Artisan Market by the first meeting on Wednesday, Sep 20 in order to select which vendors they will be interviewing. 2016 and 2017 vendor profiles are at artisanmarkets.ca/vendor-profiles.

Students will then spend one full day volunteering at a market, ideally Saturday Sep 23, to meet the market managers, vendors and talk about a day-in-the-life of a farmer or small food producer.

Over 50 community non-profit and charity organizations connect with the public at Artisan Farmers’ Markets during our summer season. Students will have the opportunity to speak with, meet and network with these community partners.

Expected Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

  • Students will learn about what is important to farmers, food processors, and other small business owners when choosing where to sell their products.
  • Students will develop interviewing and data analysis skills.
  • Students will come to appreciate how uncertain and variable a farmers’ sales can be depending upon weather, holiday weekends, and which markets they attend.

Organizational Outcomes

  • Artisan Famers’ Market will document when vendors started and stopped selling with the society.
  • Artisan Farmers’ Markets will categorize reasons vendors choose and leave a market.
  • Artisan Farmers’ Markets will develop joining and exit interview questions for vendors.
source: http://wiki.ubc.ca/Course:LFS350/Projects/Fall2017/CoV_ArtisanMarkets