Striking a balance between farmers and value-added
Background - Snell Family Farm - Ramona Snell presenting
- 1976 started attending Farmers and Artist Market due to gentle suggestions about the need for vegetable vendor
- At one time they went to eight markets, but noticed they were splitting up their product
- Neighbors wanted to buy their products as well and going to eight markets did not allow for them to sell to their neighbors
- Left some markets and were able to open their farm store for their neighbors
Recently they added value-added products with the addition of a certified kitchen -Benefits for their farm
- Value-added could use some of the surplus as well as irregular produce they would not sell
- Take a time specific crop (i.e. raspberries) and freeze them to use later
- Sells to a wider audience, they reach customers who they might not have sold to
- Who are your customers? WIC, summer/tourists, professionals, young families, multi-generational, CSA pick-up
- What are they spending
- What do customers want to see at market?
- Can people get a complete meal at your market?
What are the factors that are bring customers to market?
- Target audience: anyone who eats food
- Captured audience: people who stop at market
- From those who stop are they looking of ethical practices, a good deal, specific products, safe food, connection to their past, supporting local businesses.
It is important to look at the market from the customer’s point of view.
Specifically for value-added customers are they shopping because
- Time constraints?
- Money to spend?
- Needing immediate consumption
Customers who are traveling you need to consider
- Can't do a lot of cooking
- Need a memory of their vacation/travels
- Cruise ship customers are well-fed. Look for honey, syrup, wooden spoons
Problems to watch for with value-added products
- Need to charge enough for the product. Think about what it took to produce it (your time, additional supplies)
- Private label: labeling mass produced goods with your specific label
- **Needs to be authentic: Keep Maine markets from Maine!
- chocolate chip cookies or whoopie pies don't necessarily have a place at market, but a pumpkin whoopie pie using local pumpkin might
How much of the market should be various products?
- Need balance of farm products and value-added
- According to the Snapshot Week, 53% of customers are looking for fresh food
Ramona Snell's My Plate/My Palette consists of
-1/2 fresh fruits and veggies
-1/4 grains and starches
flowers might erode part of this
-1/4 proteins and meat
butters and oils could take up part of this
Interesting way to look at your market to see what you provide customers
- Consider these in a twenty vendor market
How do customers perceive your market?
- Always keep the Maine brand authentic!
Caitlin Hunter (Appleton Creamery) presenting
- 1980's started island market; customers wanted fresh food
- Markets were mostly vegetables, cheeses were just starting to come and there was some protein
- At one time doing eight markets
- Doing five markets now
Winter markets started but customers wanted to see veggies
- Season extension has improved the indoor market season
Diversified veggies anchor the market
- Markets have limited vegetable vendors
- Farmer's markets are in the business of starting new farms
Food trucks bring people to the market and keep them around at the market.
- How do you get food trucks?
- They tend to come to the market members asking to join.
- Strongly suggest food trucks source from the market or encourage members to talk with the food truck about using a product they grow and the food truck uses
What kind of other products are there room for at a market?
- One market has rules that craft items have to be a portion of a farm already in the market.
- Had to be produced from the farm
How do value-added vegetable products have to be tested? What is the process?
- Has to be tested at the university.
- Turn around for getting results is up to a year
- Possibly another option in Scarborough
In smaller markets how can you get members to stay?
- Find your gaps
- Vendor to vendor support and promoting of products: "Have you tried _______ berry pies?"
- Four week window to test the market as a temporary vendor so they know if it is viabl