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The Alpine Farmer’s Market Model: A Cooperative Model for the 21st Century

Farmers Market PhotoConventional farmer’s markets are inherently problematic, plagued with high turnover and profitability issues, and unnecessarily so. A new farmer’s market model with an e-commerce adjunct has been developed in Alpine, UT for the 21st Century by Onchenda Open Global Food Cooperative, and will be launched at the Alpine Days Celebration on August 12th and 13th.

The following is a comparison chart contrasting the old stand-alone farmers’ market model with Onchenda’s new Alpine, UT Farmer’s Market with E-commerce model.

Old Stand-Alone Farmer’s Market Model

Unnecessarily Hoops
Liability Insurance, Food Handlers Permit, Unreasonable Booth Fees, Unreasonable Time Commitment

 

“Do or Die” Sales Event
Must bring enough product to sell to make it worthwhile, but not too much that could get wasted and not too little so as to avoid attending a depleted booth.

 

Lack of Market Intelligence
Who is my market? What do they want? What will they pay? How do I best move product? What to do with over and under-production? Who really cares if my farm succeeds or fails?

 

Lack of Producer Support
Large commercial growers want to harvest and ship, while smaller farmers and gardeners are willing to diversify. All are understaffed and need more help.

 

Lack of Methodological Clarity
Confusion about acceptable methodologies of production. A war of varying opinions, even among academics. What would work better for me?

Uneducated Consumers
Little opportunity for food buyers to learn about the means of growing their food, the climate issues and other environmental variables. They don’t know what to do with many of the farm products that people used to eat only a generation or two ago.

Dog Eat Dog Atmosphere
Farmers have a sense of being alone with their problems in a merciless, discouraging industrial system in competition with their neighbors, flying blind without the market metrics that would otherwise empower them.

Regulatory Idiocrasy
Lack of understanding by regulatory agencies of the natural interactions of plants and animals and the effects of urban encroachment – nearby construction, eminent domain, roads, pipelines, schools, zoning changes. Who is my advocate in matters of land and water rights?

New Alpine, UT Farmer’s Market with E-commerce Model

Barriers Removed
E-commerce requires no liability insurance, no food handler permits for raw agricultural product. Alpine, UT farmer’s market requires no booth fees, and limited time commitment (12:00 – 5:00pm Friday or 10:00am – 7:00pm Saturday for the Alpine Days Celebration, Fridays 4:00—9:00pm monthly thereafter).

Public Information & Marketing Event
Bring only enough product to monthly “meet & greet” farmer’s market to give out as samples, make friends, and demonstrate the great taste. Refer customers to online store for actual purchases 24/7.

Market Intelligence
See what consumers are buying and what they wish you could produce from “Wish Lists”. Do market testing in real time online. See what others are charging and for what quality. Pre-sell or get reserved what you’ll soon be harvesting. Accumulates “likes”, identities of consumers, and consumer reviews feedback. Get support from the full cooperative.

Producer Support
E-commerce helps large commercial producers sell and ship bulk reserved orders to institutional buyers, while small farmers and market gardeners can cater to consumer demand niches. Agritourism promotes volunteer help.

Methodological Clarity
Accessible network of experienced mentors who know what’s right for your soil, water and climate conditions, and have some skin in the game to ensure you succeed.

Informed Consumers
As a public information & market event, instead of a “do or die” sales event, the Alpine farmer’s market enables growers to educate consumers on food production, and on creating a variety of meals from seasonal foods. E-commerce platform offers video walk-through recipes.

Cooperative Environment
With public relations, marketing, sales, payment gateway, delivery, market feedback reviews, and industry metrics support, leverage the collective real-time knowledge and exposure of the cooperative to manage for success.

Producer Advocacy
Real-world hard data from food producers and consumers alike in real time backed by the influence of a local cooperative network of grassroots folks and key influencers can deliver the dose of reality that officials need and want to create a truly beneficial regulatory environment for real people, not just wealthy outsiders.

To apply for your free (before July 16th, 2016) farmers’ market booth at the Alpine Days Celebration on August 12th and/or August 13th, go to http://www.alpinedays.org/#!farmers-market/ixe2f.

To register for your free online store pre-launch, go to http://onchenda.com/programs/for-producers.

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Onchenda Open Global Food Cooperative

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