Project Overview: Who are the Green Consumers?
This project is to help the Artisan Farmers’ Market identify its consumers and to create profiles for the development of a loyalty program. With a mission to celebrate BC farmers, artisan markets and businesses, the Farmers’ Market is a community gathering that fuels the local economy while sharing historical roots and nutrition awareness. The goal of this project is to recommend marketing strategies with efforts to differentiate the Artisan Farmers’ Market from the rest in Vancouver.
Project objectives and community organization
The Artisan Farmers’ Market has core values that encompass connecting food producers, BC farmers and artisans with the community while promoting financial, social and environmental sustainability. With three locations, North Vancouver (Lonsdale Quay), West Vancouver (Ambleside) and Burnaby, the Artisan Farmers’ Market. Our project is in charge of North and West Vancouver.
Our project objective is to provide solutions towards the inconsistent customer flow at the Markets. Additionally, we notice distinct demographic patterns in the North Shore. Better understanding what strategies are appropriate to implement will increase the financial and social support towards the Farmers’ Market. This will be achieved through conducting research, including interviews and surveys and using the data to make effective changes to better inform and retain the current and new customers. Also, we hope to increase the online presence competitiveness for Artisan’s Farmers’ Market.
Introducing the members of our group project with our individual and group goals, interest and impressions:
BSc. Food, Nutrition, and Health – Major in Food Market Analysis + Master of Management Dual Degree Program
My passion for food and business sprouted when I realized my curiosity of different brands and their food products tailoring to different consumers and cultures. Regardless of my location, I found innovation and creative in the promotional and labelling strategies from my local grocery store to my second home in Hong Kong. Fast forward, I am now specializing in food resource economics and developing my business management skills.
My volunteer experience at the UBC Farm Market inspired me to dive into a project that gives me the opportunity to learn more about farmers’ markets. I chose this project because I developed an interest in understanding hurdles and obstacles plaguing a organization and how I can help them in a sustainable, cost-effective and creative way. Also, I hope to eventually work in the operations and marketing fields in the food industry. This project will allow me to learn more about customer and supplier decision making and interactions on a community level which is crucial when creating appropriate marketing strategies and a management system. I hope to improve on my data analysis skills and communication skills to present data and solutions in a concise manner.
On the other hand, my interest are Ballet, cooking, baking and travelling.
BSc. Food, Nutrition and Health + Minor in Italian
My interests include watching sports, travelling the world and learning about new cultures and traditions. As an Iranian who has lived on the North Shore for the past 15 years, I am familiar with the location of the Farmers’ Market we are co-operating with and since I can speak Farsi which is the second most spoken language in the North Shore. I recognize that the Persian community of the North Shore, which constitute of a major portion of the city, can become potential customers. Hence, I chose this project to not only introduce farmers’ markets to a wider demographic in North Vancouver but to use my language a bridge to help Artisan’s Farmers’ Market gain more recognition. I wish to form stronger communication skills and to be able to better perform in a group setting by the end of this term.
Bsc. Food, Nutrition and Health
My interests include: photography, hiking, and learning about the science of food along with how the body processes the foods we consume. I am also interested in working with animals and learning more about animal welfare issues. I chose this project because I live in North Vancouver and I found it interesting how I had personally never heard about the Artisan Farmers’ Market. Also, I speak Farsi therefore I am able to further communicate with many Iranian customers who might not be fluent in English. I am looking forward to learning what is important to existing customers and how to appeal to new customers. I wish to gain more experience with applying our knowledge outside of the classroom and further developing problem solving skills.
Bsc. Food, Nutrition and Health- majoring in Food Market Analysis.
My interests include playing, watching and coaching soccer, travelling, food and resource economics, commerce, and the many components that go into market research. I chose this project to go beyond classroom theory and gain “real world” experience. I hope to apply the concepts that I have learned during my time at UBC, and make a significant impact in my local food system. Additionally, my family owns various farms in Mexico that specialize in artisanal products such as cheeses and beers, so I have a strong understanding of various production and marketing processes. I am excited to conduct research, analyze data, and learn more about how the role of Artisan Farmers’ Market plays in the community. I look forward to working with my team and our community partner in order to find innovative ways to increase its success in a sustainable manner.
Bsc. Food, Nutrition and Health – Majoring in Food Market Analysis + Dual Degree in Master of Management
I am passionate about food economics, business and helping the local community. As a student studying a degree in Food Marketing Analysis and Masters of Management, I believe that this project is the perfect opportunity to apply everything I have learned so far from my degree. From developing loyalty programs, to conducting interviews to attract customers, every detail got me interested and excited. I chose this project because it will allow me to gain hands-on experience on how to collect and analyze data as well forming practical solutions to help a local business to be sustainable and grow. As a business student, I think this project would strengthen and help further develop my project management skills as well as my communication skills – an area I am always seeking to improve in. Also, I have always liked farmer’s market but rarely frequent there so I am interested in learning more about them. In my spare time, I love to bake, read as well as travel!
Bsc. Food, Nutrition and Health – Majoring in Food Market Analysis
I have a passion for food and resource economics, data analysis, as well as freshwater fishing. I was born and raised in rural Manitoba and have been surrounded by farms and farmers my whole life, which is one of the reasons why I chose this project. I am extremely excited to be able to use all the knowledge i’ve gained in class, beyond the classroom to make a positive change in the community. I’ve had many experiences attending farmers markets and I believe that they are essential to building communities and local economies. I chose the Artisan Farmers’ Market project because I believe my background in market analysis, and passion for food economics will help me identify strengths and weaknesses in the Artisan Farmers’ Market. Through this project I hope to gain further experience in surveying, data analysis, teamwork and project management.
Group interest and goals:
As a group, we are interested in understanding the dynamics behind a farmers’ market. Unlike large grocery chains with a larger buying power, farmers’ markets are often affected by weather, opportunity cost, location and economies of scale. As students, we are often restricted by our schedules and opt for the easiest solution for groceries without thinking about where our groceries come from and how our purchases impact the economy and environment. To be successful with our project, we need to be able to analyze data and interact in a friendly and time-wise manner and therefore it is important for our group to have those skills. Since four of our group members are studying Food Market Analysis, we hope to learn from one another for analyzing data. Interaction with people will be further made possible due to the exposure of the Farsi language of two other group members. This project is different from the ones we have done in the past as it requires us to work outside of the classroom and in our community, therefore we must work together as a team and with Tara to make it a success. During these few weeks we strive to be positive and open minded and take things step by step for better management. Our group goal is to celebrate the continuous efforts of small local businesses and farmers, enhance community relationship in North Vancouver and promote healthy eating for people of all ages.
Team’s first impression and integrated themes
After our first meeting with the manager of the Artisans Farmers Market, Tara, we found a common goal, which was to connect the North Vancouver community with local businesses as well as helping the Farmers’ Market achieve necessary changes to improve financially and sustainably. Within our team, not everyone had been exposed to farmers’ markets and their structure. Looking through the various events hosted and posters to attract customers, our group was definitely feeling startled with an urgency to construct a plan that could be implemented with little cost as possible. We all agreed that we weren’t intimidated by the issues facing the market, which was evident through the refreshing ideas that were generated throughout our meeting. We look forward to reaching out to the community, and we hope that our initiative and understanding of customer dynamics will help us develop a strategy to increase the attraction towards the Market.
In Ernesto Sirolli’s Ted Talk, he highlights the importance of observing, listening and learning from the community. This resonated with the first meeting with the general manager because she was expressing her concerns and desires about North Shore and Ambleside Farmers’ Markets. Initially, we created a list of opportunities and weaknesses without an in depth analysis of the organization’s health and structure. However, as we shared our ideas, the general manager presented constraints as well as valuable information on the history and background of the market that wouldn’t be known if we did not conduct a meeting. As we shuffled through the piles of retired promotional material, we realized that our business plan will only be impactful if we interact with numerous people with their preferences emphasized in our solutions. We came to the understanding that though we want to provide fresh and new ideas to help the market, we need to step back and first gain a more thorough knowledge of the nature and dynamic of the farmer’s market as well as the local community – a thought that is explored in Sirolli’s Ted talk. Then we can seek ways to improve such as looking at the market’s previous efforts to attract more customers as a base to help us move forward and revitalize the farmer’s market. Committed and energized, our group is ready to take on the challenges with hopes to address the immediate issues surrounding the Artisan Farmers’ Market by working in a collaborative manner.
As we are preparing to research and conduct surveys, Ernesto Sirolli’s quote, “shut up and listen” will be a constant reminder internally in our group as well as when speaking within the community.Our project is working with the North and West Vancouver which consist of two different communities with their own characteristics. We don’t want to form a general solution but solutions that are specific and tailored to the community. Hence, the asset based community development strategy such as group capacity-building perspective and social capital will be our framework when developing strategies.
We believe the principles presented in the asset based community development (ABCD) framework can be applied to our work with the Artisan Farmers’ Market. ABCD is a strategy designed to drive endogenous community development in both rural and urban communities. As the name suggests, ABCD is a strategy that utilizes assets within the community to induce change, assets include: personal attributes, skills, social capital (relationships, kinship, formal and informal networks) and more. These assets are often unrealized and underappreciated. What we propose is that we take an inventory of the assets within the West and North Vancouver communities, as well as assets within the Artisan Farmers’ Market. We can build an inventory of assets in West and North Vancouver by contacting institutions (libraries, community centres, etc.) within the community and asking if they are willing collaborate with Artisan Farmers’ Markets. Assets within the Artisan Farmers’ Market organization can be identified by interviewing the management team, board of directors, and volunteers. Questions we could ask would be questions regarding their social capital, specifically, what connections they have with potential sponsors, public figures, as well as asking about their past experiences with the market. Once we’ve interviewed members of the Artisan Farmers’ Market, we can practice appreciative inquiry which brings about positive change by concentrating on positive experiences and past successes. Through appreciative inquiry we can identify elements of past successes and use those elements to help develop an action plan.
Overall, our discussion on the social, political, and economic climate that the Artisan Farmers’ Market functions under, we believe that our potential strategies to tackle food injustice are pertinent. Moving forward, in order to make a significant impact on the food system, we plan to further analyze what role the Artisan Farmers’ Market currently holds in regards to food justice and the role it can potentially play in the North and West Vancouver Communities. This will hopefully be accomplished through research regarding average household income and demographics along side performing surveys on the community’s perception of the Markets. By obtaining this information, we hope to understand the needs of the members of different races, genders and classes and how the Artisans Farmers’ Market market can improve on providing access to “healthy, adequate, culturally appropriate food produced in an ecologically regenerative and socially just manner” (Allen, 2018).
Stay tuned for further project developments!
Allen, P. (2008). Mining for justice in the food system: perceptions, practices, and possibilities. Agriculture and Human Values, 25(2), 157–161.
Mathie, A., & Cunningham, G. (2003). From clients to citizens: Asset-based Community Development as a strategy for community-driven development. Development in Practice, 13(5), 474–486
Photo from: northvancouver.com