Best Practices

What items are eligible to be sold at market?

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Several questions commonly arise about the ingredients used to produce a product sold at market: Can the ingredients be purchased? Do they need to be made by the producers themselves? Must they be Maine produced? Can they come from out-of-state or commercial sources? The Orono Farmers’ Market has a draft version of what items are […]

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The no-show rule

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When someone joins a farmers’ market, we normally would expect them to show up at least for several market days. Unfortunately, not everyone does. There could be a variety of reasons for this. Sometimes their expectations are higher than reality, and they find that they aren’t going home with the pocketfuls of money they had […]

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Good market practices

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The difference between struggling and success can be good market practices. What makes for a good farmers’ market? Certainly a strong and supportive base of shoppers is an essential ingredient. Yet demand for products is simply the fuel. How well the market is organized is the engine. Some engines waste fuel whereas others are efficient […]

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Do farmers’ markets need managers?

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Starting a farmers’ market is a form of community organizing. It happens on two levels, organizing the market members and organizing the shoppers. Working with these two audiences takes very different forms, and I will concentrate here primarily on how the market members are organized. Community organizing can take many forms depending on where the […]

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Product Liability Insurance Q & A

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Hi Tom, I got your name off the internet at the MFFM website. I am a farmer and I currently sell at a local market. The question on “product liability insurance” has come up and it looks grim for the small farmer (once again!). The market master has come to the conclusion that we will […]

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Limiting market membership?

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We submit that there are two questions in the issue of limiting market membership. These two questions are: “Does the market have the right to limit membership?” “Is it a good idea for the market to limit membership?” Does the market have the right? When it comes to the ability of market members to limit […]

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Dependent markets versus independent markets

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Consider for a moment the way farmers’ markets are organized. Not whether or how they are incorporated, not how many or what kind of members they have, but rather how and whether the membership is involved in the management of the business of being a farmers’ market. There seems to be two general categories: those […]

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Market slogans and longer pieces

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What does your market say in its advertising? Several of the markets doing brochures or print advertising have used slogans or phrases to better communicate with their audience. Many other organizations also attempt to influence the public consciousness toward paying more attention to localness and community in making purchases. This page is presented in an […]

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To peddle or not to peddle

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by Tom Roberts (from 1990’s Selling Outdoors) Whether to allow market members to buy some or all of what they sell could be a hotly debated subject or an easy consensus. Which occurs at your market depends upon your market’s history and its current makeup, as well as on your members’ vision of what your […]

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