Introducing the Team

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:

Brenda Yim
BSc. Food, Nutrition, and Health – Major in Food Market Analysis + Master of Management Dual Degree Program
3rd year

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.

Nikki Omanian
BSc. Food, Nutrition and Health + Minor in Italian
3rd year

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.

Mahbanou Banihashemi
Bsc. Food, Nutrition and Health
3rd year

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.

Pilar Rodriguez
Bsc. Food, Nutrition and Health- majoring in Food Market Analysis.
3rd year

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.

Phoebe Yan
Bsc. Food, Nutrition and Health – Majoring in Food Market Analysis + Dual Degree in Master of Management
3rd Year

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!

Jacky Haw
Bsc. Food, Nutrition and Health – Majoring in Food Market Analysis
3rd Year

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!


References:

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

Blog Post #4: Passing the Basket

As beautifully displayed fresh food and produce vanish from its basket or table and into the hands of families, home cooks or food enthusiasts, the market has to come to a close. Just like the market, our project has reached its final stage. Our findings have been interpreted and presented to our community partner, peers and faculty members. Our work is done because it is now up to those with the fruitful basket of goods to carry on to create a beautiful dish of success.


Moment of Significance in the Course

What?

As a group, we thought to step out of our comfort zone to survey strangers in different locations was challenging. However, when we had to narrow down what we wanted to present on an infographic, we knew we were presented with a greater challenge. Our presentation was in less than 6 days and we needed to put everything together with a professional infographic because it represented our faculty and community partner. Our moment of significance was the teamwork we had to exercise after being recommended to redo our infographic and from our poster presentation. From surveying, we had an abundance of information but choosing what information to present to our community partner in under 3 minutes seemed challenging. We were met with defeat when our initial infographic draft was given lengthy suggestions by our professor and TA. With an already overwhelming amount of pressure and stress to do well and on top of our continuous course load, we needed one another to help fill in the missing information and redesign the infographic. In the beginning, we all thought we had all the information needed to create an infographic and left the appointed designer in the team to create our infographic. After the backfire from our first infographic, it was no longer a one person job but six brains with 12 creative eyes.

When the presentation day arrived, the amount of uncertainty, stress, and confusion from the beginning of the project vanished as we proudly stood before our printed infographic. However, our teamwork caps couldn’t be hung yet, because we had to explain our findings to our peers, professor, TAs and community partner. We appointed designated speakers to verbally dissect the infographic and draw the audience to experience what we have done in the past three months while the rest of the members were contributing in answering questions from the audience.


So what?

We realized that presenting our findings of what we did in the past 3 months was not easy. As mentioned above, it was not a one-person job because as a group, we had to come together to really narrow down and pinpoint what are our significant findings and how to analyze the data and then be able to present it in a clear way to help our community partner. In our first version of the infographic, we thought that just showcasing our statistics from our survey would be adequate, but through the feedback given, we realized that we need to make sense of our data. During this time of stress, we as group used all our strengths and looked to see what was most beneficial to our community partner. Everyone was actively participating and the importance of our teamwork was not lost on us because each member had a vital role in how the infographic would carry out. All the members had to come together and be on the same page. Our thinking was, how can we present this in a way where everyone, including those who never heard of our project, sees our process clearly.

Other knowledge that we could bring in more of was our problem-solving skills and to realize the purpose of the infographic. Our role was to assist our community partner in reaching their goals and for improvement, so we should realize more of our role in the beginning. Previously we thought we could just throw some data on our infographic, say what we did and that was it. But we needed to present it in a coherent way. Having more of this perspective early on would have been beneficial. If we have realized our roles and the main point of the infographic earlier, then perhaps our first version of the infographic would have been better. Instead of just having the data person and graphic designer work on the infographic, in the beginning, we as a group should have collectively come together and discussed the content and how to showcase it. If we had done this, then perhaps the high-stress situation would not have occurred because we had only 2-3 days to fix our infographic. On the other hand, this emergency situation brought our group closer together and was a team building experience.

Furthermore, in our presentation, we realized that we still need the members. Though our infographic was complete, we couldn’t just rely on 2-3 members to do the presenting, all the members had to be there. The ones who were not presenting, were there to encourage curious onlookers to come over and help to answer questions and give the audience their personal insight and takeaway on the project. Therefore, in every part of our project, we realized that we aren’t just a group of people, but a true team and that we need to rely on each other to effectively carry out our goals.

Figure 1: Group #23’s final infographic on the Artisan Farmers’ Market


Now what?

Now that we have completed the objectives of our CBEL project with the Artisan Farmers’ Market, and produced an infographic presenting our findings, we are looking to see how our work will serve our community partner, Tara. In producing the formal final community project report we hope to provide a comprehensive review of our project that will be of further use to the goal of the assignment. We hope that our findings will lead to the creation of a customer loyalty program and that our customer profile created through surveying helps Tara further understand the consumers that visit the market, and why others may not. With the use of our findings, we would like to see the development of improved marketing techniques that will contribute to the more efficient use of funding and more community members attending the Market.

As a group, we have gained knowledge and skills in teamwork and communication through this project and we hope to take the positive experience to tackle similar projects of this magnitude in the future. We were satisfied with the hands-on experience of surveying and communicating with our community partner as well as learning about the importance of community food security and community-based experiential learning. We hope to employ these experiences in our professional careers and personal lives. Lastly, we look forward to seeing how the Artisan Farmers’ Market will advance in the future, through our teamwork and collaboration with Tara.


Conclusion

We thank Tara, the General Manager of Artisan Farmers’ Market, the Artisan Farmers’ Market Organization and LFS 350 for the opportunity to be apart of this journey to help the Market achieve its goal. We wish the Artisan Farmers’ Market great success in using our data and findings to reach its full potential in the many years to come.

Sincerely,

Jacky, Pilar, Brenda, Nikki, Mahbanou and Phoebe

Blog Post #3 Inches Away from the Big Day

From a fruity harvest of surveys and a full basket of hatched data, the team is ready to inspect, package and transport what we have learned throughout this project and the course to prepare for the presentation day.

Inches Away from the Big Day

 


Weekly Objectives and Achievement 

Weekly Objectives

Achievement

Week 8

Graphing our knowledge, skill and emotion

Last community meeting with Artisan Farmers’ Market

Plotting our knowledge, skill and emotion process on paper allowed the group to identify how we thought of the project and our own growth.

Discussed amongst the team what our motivation and encouragement factors were and how as a team, we can complete the project on a high note.

The last meeting focused on looking at the data and correlation suggestions.

Week 9

Compile data

 

 

Third blog post

Data was cleaned: outliers were identified and excluded.

We achieved our goal of 100 surveys.

The online survey posted on the Artisan Farmers’ Market’s Facebook page gave us 35 responses. In-person surveys: collected were 93

Complete third blog post 

Discussed our strategies to complete the project with good relations with the community partner and as a team

Week 10
Week 11
Week 12

Final Presentation


Moment of Significant Change

During our last tutorial session we were asked to work individually, and as a group, to set-up graphs that represented the feelings and emotions, we had experienced since the beginning of the course, and those we expected in the future. The graph consisted of an x-axis, representing the time in weeks, and a y-axis, which represented the different emotions we were experiencing; the emotions were happy, sad and neutral. Once our graphing was complete, it was very interesting to see how each member’s experience differed.

Member reactions about the graphs:

“At the beginning of the semester I was nervous and anxious for our community project. I was afraid that I would not have the skills required for to take forward the community project. However, as the weeks passed I began getting comfortable with collecting data, contacting our community partner and discussing with my group members. I learnt some valuable skills that I will definitely use in the future.” – Nikki

“I experienced an increase in knowledge throughout the semester as I developed skills which I did not previously have such as surveying, data analysis, and working with a community partner. I have also learned the importance of community food security and community-based projects.” – Mahbanou

“I chose this project for the similarity of the commerce projects I have completed. I didn’t necessarily feel a large growth in business skills and knowledge but I definitely enjoyed exercising my proposal writing and communication opportunities. I learned quite a bit about farmers’ markets and the importance of customer preferences and habits for a farmers’ market’s operation.” – Brenda 

“As the semester progressed, my skills gradually increased, as I improved my skills in group work and surveying. Starting the project, there was much uncertainty in terms of how to begin the project, but as the semester progressed, I began to adapt to the uncertainty. Between weeks 4 and 6, my knowledge of survey development and analysis significantly improved, because of feedback from our second meeting with Tara.” – Jacky

“When I first heard that I had been assigned the Artisans Farmers’ Market project I was concerned as I had very little previous knowledge of the market. I was also unsure I possessed the skills necessary to ensure the completion of our goal. However, with the help of my teammates and our community partner, my knowledge and skills have improved significantly throughout the term, and I am now confident in my skills to survey, analyze data, and work in a professional setting.”
-Pilar

We attributed this variation to our different schedules and exam periods, hence, in some weeks some of us were more stressed and anxious for our exams, while others were more relaxed and vice versa. Some of the weeks showed consistencies across all group members. For example, there were weeks where we had received little feedback from Tara, our Community Partner and the Artisan Farmers’ manager, and felt frustrated. However, the whole group was feeling much better when feedback and positive comments were provided, and we could move forward.

During our last tutorial session we also had the chance to graph the knowledge we had gained so far from our experiences inside and outside class time; this time we found our graphs to be quite similar in terms of knowledge and skills gained, with the group as a whole agreeing that as time went by, more knowledge was gained. This was a result of attending more lectures, tutorials and meetings with Tara. Similarly, the skills gained graph showed an increase in skills as time went forward.

We have decided to continue the trend of upward growth for both knowledge and skills and to try and finish off the term with a more positive approach and attitude towards the hardships we may experience. In order to represent the future on our graphs, we have included weeks beyond our LFS 350 tutorials as well as arrows to represent the continuous lines.  We hope to work as a team to get through these last few weeks successfully and finish the semester with a smile.

Our graphs are provided below, check them out!

Figure #1: Each member’s individual skill development progress throughout the weekly objectives of the community project.

Figure #2: Emotions experienced by each member throughout the weekly objectives of the community project.

Figure #3: Each member’s knowledge growth throughout the weekly objectives of the community project.

X-axis Legend

Time (weeks):

  1. First general meeting with team members
  2. Second meeting for communication, criteria, and blog post
  3. Meeting with Tara
  4. First blog post
  5. Second meeting with Tara
  6. Surveying at various locations
  7. Second blog post
  8. Last meeting with Tara 

-> the arrows refer to each team member’s emotion, skill and knowledge after the completion of the course and how we predict our own abilities to transfer what we learned to our studies or career path development.

 


Our Strategy For a Graceful Dismount

As the semester comes to an end, we must begin to develop a plan for completing our infographic, as well as our final community project report. We hope for both assignments to be used by the Artisan Farmers’ Market in order to better understand their customer base, how to appeal to potential consumers, and ultimately, help the Market develop a customer loyalty program.

Our strategy for a successful project completion….

Within the next week, our team will be attending a workshop that will guide us in creating an infographic for our project. Our infographic will convey the problem/issue we are trying to solve, why it matters, the approaches we used, our results, and our final take-home message gathered from our research. The process of producing this visual summary of our project will involve analyzing our survey data, which may prove to be a challenge. Specifically, determining how we can use our results to develop a customer profile for the Artisan Farmers’ Market. We will be performing the data analysis as a team following the workshop, and then deciphering the best way to represent it visually. The ultimate goal for this week is to develop an infographic that will disseminate our key-findings and their implications to a diverse audience, in a format that can be easily and quickly understood. On March 26th, we will present our infographic to the public, faculty members, and community partners in the AMS Student Nest.

The findings of our research are to be presented in a final community project report that will be used by the Artisan Farmers’ Market (North and West Vancouver) to tailor their new customer loyalty program. The final report will also be distributed to 145 markets via the BC Association of Farmers’ Markets. Our final report will consist of an analysis of our survey data, which will involve identifying geographic, psychographic, and demographic characteristics of current customers, as well as, potential customers. Once we’ve identified these characteristics, we will use the information to develop customer profiles for marketing and the customer loyalty program. Our goal is to write a report that displays the path that we took to develop customer profiles, so that future students or managers can learn from our process and develop customer profiles of their own. We hope that our report will be useful for Tara, and the Artisan Farmers’ Market, today and in the future.

In order to complete our final report in a timely manner, we will begin by assigning a specific section of the report to each team member. This division of the workload will be discussed and solidified on Monday, March 12th. We will then set up a timeline for when each section should be complete, as it is important that some parts of the report are written before others. This timeline will also include “editing days” where we will look over the work we have completed so far, and provide suggestions to our team members. Throughout the process of writing our final report, we will make sure to incorporate the feedback given to us by Tara, our community partner and Wilson, our TA. We hope that by complying with our schedule our report will be of higher quality, and of more use to our community partner.

The upcoming weeks will certainly prove to be a challenge, especially, with due dates and finals approaching. But, it is important to remember that, “Without a certain amount of anxiety and risk, there’s a limit to how much learning occurs.”, therefore, we will take this time of anxiety and uncertainty to further our learning (Shulman, 2005, p. 18).


References 

Shulman, L. S. (2005). Pedagogies of uncertainty. Liberal Education, 91(2), 18-25.

Blog Post #2: The Growing Process

Before food can be placed beautifully on a table for sale, there needs to be a farmer(s) providing care, love and observation to its crops. We are like the farmers who are collecting and analyzing data to properly feed the Artisan Farmers’ Market to make it grow and prosper.

Project proposal:  Final Proposal


Overview of Weekly Objectives and Achievement

Weekly Objectives Achievement
Week 1: Community Project Pick Preferred projects were assigned
Week 2:

Meet the group

Get to know each other’s strengths and find the overall team dynamics

Create a Group Blog

Create Terms of Reference

 

Got to know one another and found our team dynamics through our strengthens and weaknesses.

Completed the Term of Reference through the previous discussion of our capabilities and strengths

Created a team blog which is accessible by everyone

Agreed upon a communication channel to accommodate all members: WhatsApp and Google Docs

Week 3:

Meet with community partner

Discuss the project’s goals and objectives

Explored and understood the Artisan Farmers’ Market’s past marketing strategies. Listened to the feedback from the General Manager and the current issues affecting the Market.

Brainstormed and drafted our project objectives and approach to quantitative research based on the material presented during the meeting.  

Week 4:

Blog post due

Wrote about our personal connection as to why we chose the Artisan Farmers’ Market for our project.
Week 5:

Proposal

Create survey

The project proposal was submitted with sample survey questions and our project schedule

A survey was created with questions focusing on grocery shopping habits and customer perception and awareness of  Artisan Farmers’ Markets

The demographics of North Shore had a large Persian Community and we created multiple copies of the survey in different languages to increase participation

Week 6

Meeting with Community Partner

Completion of survey questions

Distribution of Survey

Survey People in the North and West Vancouver Areas

Survey questions were finalized with feedback from the Community Partner

Transferred typed survey questions to Qualtrics for a formal display

Contact various organizations in the North and West Vancouver Community to ask if they can distribute our survey or post our survey on their Facebook Page

Collected 33 surveys in the North Vancouver area ( 17 at Victoria Park, 16 at Lonsdale Quay)

Collected 30 surveys at Ambleside Park

Week 7

Blog Post due

Proposal changes due

Second surveying session in North Vancouver


Identify Upcoming Objectives and Strategies to Achieve Them

After our second meeting with our community partner Tara, we finalized our survey and began setting objectives.

Week 6-7. In-person Surveying

Within the next few weeks, we aim to collect data through surveying in West and North Vancouver. Our plan is to survey near the Lonsdale Artisan Farmers Market at Lonsdale Quay as well as the near the Ambleside Artisan Farmers market on February 25, 2018. But, due to the projection of heavy snowfall during that period, the number of responses that we collect may be insufficient. If this is the case, we will adjust accordingly, and potentially have to set a date to survey in the future. We have also set our next surveying date to be March 3 at the Lonsdale location because the market is holding an event called “Seedy Saturdays” hosted by The Edible Garden Project. Our hope is that on March 3rd we will receive a significant number of responses from individuals that are familiar with the market, in order to better understand the market’s customer base. Our survey questions will allow us to identify the strengths and weaknesses of the market.

E.g. Question: “If you do not attend the Artisan Farmers Market, why not?

  • This question will help us identify some of the weaknesses of the market, and areas to improve.
  • Our current objective is to acquire 100 survey responses across both West Vancouver and North Vancouver. Depending on how successful we are, we may need to schedule additional days for surveying, as well as find different locations to survey in. So far, we have contacted multiple libraries and community centres, but we have had no success in gaining permission to survey on their premises. This means we will need to either contact more organizations or focus on approaching people in public areas, in order to gather the majority of our responses.

Week 8. Facebook & Email Surveying

This week’s objective is to gather data electronically, using Qualtrics as our preferred research software. To achieve our objective, as mentioned, we will use Qualtrics to develop our survey, and to obtain a link that will be posted on the facebook pages of the Ambleside and Lonsdale Artisan Farmers’ Markets. In addition to social media, our Qualtrics survey will also be distributed via the Artisan Farmers Market newsletter.

Here is a rough draft of the post that will accompany the social media survey:

“Students from the University of British Columbia are partnered with the Artisan Farmers’ Market for a project to help the Market better understand its customer base and target market segments. The data collected will inform the Market on potential and existing customer needs and preferences as well as contribute to the development of new and effective marketing strategies. Please take the time to complete the survey, we would truly appreciate it.”


Reflection on a Significant Moment in this Course 

Using  Rolfe et al.’s (2001) reflective model, we can reflect on moments of significance that have occurred in the course so far by addressing three simple questions: What? So what? Now what?

What?

As we began to learn more about the issues faced by the Artisan’ Farmers’ Markets, we knew that it was crucial to its success to identify its customer base and that this would be achieved through conducting a survey. As a group, we were feeling nervous and overwhelmed with the idea of approaching people and asking them to take part in our survey; however, we were determined to reach our goal of collecting 100 survey results. We decided to split up into smaller groups in order to simultaneously target areas in North and West Vancouver, and efficiently collect a variety of responses. In addition, due to the personal deadline we set, we knew that we had to finish collecting the data before our next meeting with our community partner. Overall, it was a positive learning experience; however, it felt discouraging at times when members of the community refused to take part in our data collection.

So what?

After our first day of surveying people, we came to the realization that more experience and preparation is needed to perform the task effectively. Increasingly, we noticed that this is a skill that we have yet to learn in any classroom during our undergraduate degree. In the beginning, we were slightly too optimistic in our ability to collect data, as we expected larger numbers of people to respond. Additionally, due to our lack of experience, we were unsure about what surveying would be like and how members of the community would react to us. In hindsight, we should have put ourselves in their shoes and realized that some people are probably too busy to participate, instead of taking the rejections personally. In order to improve this situation and make it better, we realized that we could have divided up our group in a more strategic way, pairing those who have more experience with those who have less. Overall, this was a great opportunity to gain first-hand experience doing fieldwork and allowing us to apply our own skills and knowledge.

Now what?

As we continue to finish our task of surveying we strive to improve ourselves and to be more knowledgeable of the tasks at hand. In the future, we should be aware of patterns in the responses of our participants and record the situation that occurred when we were rejected. For example, if a person refused to participate in our survey, we should note the reasons, such as them being in a hurry, or if they were busy doing something else. Furthermore, as members in such a diverse group with numerous backgrounds and experiences, we should pay more attention to each member’s unique skills and utilize them in such a way to improve the overall process and outcome our project.


Conclusion

As we are preparing to head into the final week for this community project, we are thankful to have the opportunity to help our community partner raise awareness of the Artisan Farmers’ Market. This project has brought our attention towards the importance of food accessibility and availability and the role Artisan Farmers’ Market provides for the communities in North and West Vancouver. We look forward to presenting our findings and recommendations on Monday, March 26, 2018.


References

Rolfe, G., Freshwater, D. and Jasper, M. (2001). Critical reflection in nursing and the helping professions: a user’s guide. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.