Rochester Farmers' Market Pivots to Online Sales + Drive-Thru Pick-Up in the COVID-19 Era - Shared screen with speaker view
1pm CST. I see that I am an hour early as I am on East Coast time.
Jaime Hadji, Ohio Farmers Market Network
Jess Joyce - Rochester Farmers Markets
Jess Joyce, Rochester Farmers Markets
Jane Jewett, Minnesota Institute for Sustainable Agriculture
Tammy Howard- Montana Farmers Market Network. Thanks for the webinar!
Hi, Lincoln Park Farmers Market, Lincoln Park, MI
Hello! Emily Lyons, Manager of the Midland Area Farmers Market in Midland, MI.
Angie Blomer, Greensboro Farmers Market (NC)
Karin Davey, The Good Acre (MN)
Hello my name is Derek Nicholas I am joining on behalf of the Morris Area Farmers Market
Hi Everyone - Brett Olson, Creative Directory, Renewing the Countryside
Michelle White, Clintonville Farmers Market (OH)
Katie Sterns, You Betcha! Box
Sara George, Red Wing and Wabasha Farmers Market
Jenna Phillips, Platteville Farmer's Manager, Platteville WI
Hi everyone, Jenell Mattera Historic Lewes Farmers Market (DE)
Hi I'm Audra Chamberlin, Cuyuna Farmers Market in Crosby, MN
Mona V Kneuss
Mona Kneuss North End Farmers Market Mansfield Ohio
Greetings Everyone! Linda Vale, La Crosse Farmers Market Association
Lotty Roozekrans from Waitsfield Farmers Market, Vermont!
hi im jake cuperus Worthington farmers market Worthington MN
Thanks for hosting this call.
Gretchen Boyer - Flathead County MT
Renewing The Countryside
So great to have folks from across the country!
By next week, we should have a DIY building a foot-pedal handwashing station plan for under $125.
Super interested in the DIY foot pedal handwashing station. Please share on the FMC list serve!
Sorry, I had to join late. My question is what type of advertising/marketing has been done (or needs to be done) to let the public know that local products and fresh produce can be purchased online.?
Great question Frosty. Jess will be hitting on that toward the end of the presentation, but the media loved the idea of coming to the market to do media stories. With very few activities anywhere else, it was easy to get them to come out. Also, this can be promoted on your facebook page, your email list and anywhere you already do promotions!
When did the vendors/farmers deliver product and what was the assembly time for, say, 245 tote bags
Renewing The Countryside
Lotty, we’ll make sure Jess answers that. I think she’ll note it soon.
HI Frosty, in addition to what Sara said, asking vendors to share info with their customers is also important, and easily done via social media
Delivery/Pickup Food Safety Guidance from State of MN:https://www.mda.state.mn.us/sites/default/files/inline-files/FoodSafetyforDelivery-Pickup%20%28003%29.pdf
I could be totally wrong or looking at this totally wrong but do I see our local mkts looking like or turning more into a food co-op?
In MN, esp. in greater MN, most markets will be able to do in-person because they have more room to spread out. Even better than grocery stores.
Rochester is a market with a winter indoor space. Most markets are outdoors and open only 1 or 2 days per week; spring, summer, and fall. This pre-order concept doesn't change that seasonal/temporary nature of markets.
Also co-ops add more than 14% margin on produce
I think you will understand more about the why when you see the survey results.
what was the license you needed called?
Did you query producers about shrink? I would imagine they had zero loss. Not a surprise, but needs to be factored in to their net income.
IN MN, the license is either a wholesale food handler (if selling to institutions) or retail food handler license - when selling to consumers.
Steve - the market owns the product, so the shrink is the mkt's loss.
Did the market have to toss anything?
More information about licenses and links to the sample food safety protocol documents:
first timers is encouraging!
Steve - let's bring this up and discuss with Jess. I know the answer, but let's discuss it!
Will you be sharing the PPT with today’s participants?
Did Hy-Vee make any noise? I could see them viewing this as competition.
Renewing The Countryside
Yes, we can share the PPT.
well run markets need well paid (?) smart people … like Rochester's!
would love to see the sustainability spreadsheets
Do you think using the platform will encourage farmers to use the platform for wholesale/institution sales?
would love to see accounting templates if you are willing to share :) :)!
have customers voiced unhappiness with any quality issues? how do you handle that?
How are they going to transition to spring/summer markets which are typically outside if social-distancing is continues?
Is there a upper limit of the number of vendors that you think you could manage on the Local Line hub platform?
As a vendor (mostly baked goods) participating in the RFM online system, I would mention that there is considerable extra time and work packaging and labelling for the vendor. But also, it is great having pre-orders a couple days in advance, so we know exactly how much to prepare.
Susan - did you increase your price to pay for that extra time & packaging?
U of MN Extension fact sheet on building an inexpensive handwashing station: http://misadocuments.info/Build_Handwashing_Station_12-16-19.pdf
I'd love to hear more about plans for summer markets with this system in place. How will you handle the perishability of produce, cheese...
increasing price during this time of uncertainty for many potential buyers may present a challange as many more people are unemployed... just a comment...
With the advent of recommendations to wear masks at all public gatherings, do you see the Market requiring this?
The delivery vehicles - in summer - how will you keep frozen meats frozen, etc.?
Guidance for Minnesota farmers' markets, developed by MN Farmers' Market Association and MN Department of Agriculture: https://www.mfma.org/Guidance-for-Markets
Really impressed with how you have pivoted. In terms of risk of spreading virus, it seems to me there is more risk to the manager(s) and volunteers assembling the orders. How do you feel the process went in terms of social distancing? What was your protocol for reducing the risk to those assembling orders?
I agree with Jake. Risky for volunteers and handlers as it is currently set up.
Am I correct that the vendors upload their items/pics to the platform?
Yes - vendors upload. And will need to do so weekly as inventory changes during the summer.
Hi Frosty, appreciate your comment about needing to remember that income is depressed for many people; luckily they’re still taking SNAP, and as was mentioned before, even with the 14%, margins/markups are smaller than with a brick and mortar grocery store.
See the CoolBot trailer here that Sara George was talking about. https://wabashacountyship.org/health-eating-update-archives#/healthy-eating-updates-2017
Link to Personnel Health & Hygiene sample protocol: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1sqEiJEsmsxFCJdgHu8P1VUoA00_iXf3V0HBFBDRnkR0
Also curious - do you give instructions or guidance to buyers about how to handle the products, packaging, bags, when they get them home?
Hi Elena, depressed for many small vegetable producers also so if our local farmers market could do a "Hub" an extra 14% expense would be a lot to absorb when margins can be slim already for veg farmers... this is just a coment.
Our local farmers market only has about a dozen vendors :-}
Definitely, it's a cost-to-benefit assessment that each farmer has to do for their own business.
Any thing to help old folks and others that do not do computers?
Karl - This is not a model for all famers' markets. It's just one solution of many.
Karl, in Grand Rapids we are moving toward our May 6 opener and we're contemplating having a volunteer take phone calls to help non-tech-savvy people place their orders.
I'm happy it seems to be off to a good start for Rochester!
Kentucky just posted a webinar for taking orders via phone, pencil & paper.
There is a great YouTube video on this
I can try to share the link.
I'm confused on the 14%; is that for both the vendor and customer?
For your farmers who don’t have good access to internet, cell service and/or the capacity to use more complex technology, here’s a recording of a webinar from the University of Kentucky “Low-Tech Preorder”: https://www.uky.edu/ccd/preorderBrett Wolf explores a variety of options starting from phone orders with paper and pencil and building up to a simple on-line store.
Is there a plan for canceling orders and contacting the customers if a vendor begins to feel ill after getting a number of orders?
It recommends putting all incoming goods onto one half of your counter, wiping off all packaging with anti-bacterial wipes, washing produce, putting boxes and bags outside for a day, washing hands after handling, etc. It also recommends transferring take-out food onto plates and microwaving before consuming, disposing of any bags/boxes in outdoor recycling bins.
have you used or seen this model used at smaller rural farmers markets that have a very small budget?
Kathy what exactly does “brokering” involve?
Good information on how to safely unpack groceries and other food once you bring it home.
Brokering = vendor delivers product to buyer; mkt never touches the product.
The video posted by Lisa Mueller has been reviewed by Annalisa Hultberg of U of MN Extension and Annalisa does not recommend it.
With orders being "combined" is it harder to keep the "traceability" of produce?
from many vendors into one bag
before starting this project, how difficult was it to get your boards (those markets that have boards) convinced or see the value on this model?
One review of the video is here: Food Safety and COVID-19: A Guide for Handling Groceries and Takeouthttps://www.everydayhealth.com/coronavirus/food-safety-and-covid-19-a-guide-for-handling-groceries-and-takeout/?slot=3&eh_uid=63614266
Just FYI: MFMA's Weekly Farmers' Markets Open Forum -Every Thursday- 1:00 PM Centralhttps://zoom.us/j/115650186 -Meeting ID: 115 650 186(312) 626 6799 US (Chicago)
have you found that potential vendors in you area have come back or inquired into your markets? essentially we have a "brain drain" for food producers in this area despite us being designated at a food insecure areal. in particular to the larger markets
Cottage food vendors really want to be part of this but can’t in MN due to the rules of the cottage food laws (not allowed to sell wholesale)
Cottage food vendors CAN use the platform - but must take money & deliver in-person -- at the drive-thru
jo davies local food would be a good model to what you just asked. they are setting record sales atm
Rochester’s system is that the vendors in the hub are selling the product to the market
So I think that’s why Jess pointed out that cottage food producers cannot have an account on the hub
How soon do your vendors get paid?
You may have answered this, but do the vendors pay a fee to be on the site?
K Kay Jensen
What if any is the plan to deliver directly to companies for their employees or direct to home?
could someone like Bite Squad or a vendor with a reefer truck take over the delivery portion of the model?
Bite Squad or other delivery services could be used by the market, but again could not be used to deliver Cottage Food.
Brett - think thru food borne illness contamination issues - product liability - if Bite Squad, etc.
Clean Transport of Produce protocol: https://docs.google.com/document/d/10mLi2l21eJotEFmho3ACPk4fWZLjV5pyjLxzpk8iJAs
A market using volunteer or paid delivery drivers, or a delivery service, could have the drivers sign this form.
Keep it up, thanks for sharing your system.
Great discussion, everyone!!
Are the slides being shared/posted?
Thank you very much, this has been very helpful!
Thank you! Wonderful info!