Food at Work: MINI FARMERS MARKET

farmers market

Worksite Farmers' Markets

Establishing an on-site farmers' market is a great way to increase access to healthy fresh food and provide a market for local farmers. Worksites can demonstrate leadership in health promotion by hosting an on-site farmers' market. Locating a farmers' market on site makes it easier for employees to purchase healthy foods for themselves and their families because they can conveniently buy fresh produce on a break or during their lunch hour. Additionally, these markets also help to increase access to fresh produce for the surrounding community residents.

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STEPS TO STARTING A WORKSITE FARMERS' MARKET

Needs and interest survey

Administer a Needs and Interest survey to:

  • Gauge accurate employee interest in holding shopping at an on-site farmers' market.
  • Identify the wants and needs of customers. For example, is there a strong preference for organic, just vegetables, fruits, flowers, artisanal goods?
  • Question employees about preferred days, times, and locations to hold the market.
  • Confirm there is a large enough customer base to support a farmers' market. As a general rule, a minimum of 300 regular customers is needed to support a very small farmers' market, which has five farmers/vendors. 

Legal considerations

  • Gain approval from your city council.  Contact your local government to find out what the protocol is for setting up a farmers' market. You may need to secure a permit.

Vendor selection

  • Contact the market managers of your local area farmers' market and ask them for vendor suggestions.
  • Often a local or state farmers’ market managing association can assist in market planning and outreach.

Promotion plan

  • Advertise the new market to employees by sending out a companywide email, employee newsletter, making an announcement at an all staff meeting, putting up posters or handing out brochures in a break/lunch room.
  • Create permanent signage, such as a sandwich board or banner, that will let cars and pedestrians passing by know about your market.
  • Offer employees farmer's market vouchers or coupons.

Ways to keep farmers’ market attendees engaged

  • Educate employees about different ways to increase their consumption of fresh, local produce by providing information for other local farmers markets, local community gardens, and Community Supported Agriculture (CSAs).
  • Offer cooking demonstrations and recipe cards that use seasonal produce – ask your vendors for their own recipe ideas.
  • Offer canning classes

RESOURCES

Establishing a worksite farmers' market

www.takeactionca.com

CDC Market example

www.cdc.gov

Farmers' markets on Hospital Grounds

www.eatbettermovemore.org

Farmers' markets rules, regulations, and opportunities

www.nationalaglawcenter.org

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