CR-953 Cultivating Change:
Optimizing Farmers’ Markets in Ontario

Title

CR-953 Cultivating Change:
Optimizing Farmers’ Markets in Ontario

Author

Melissa Johnston

Subject

Abstract
Cultivating Change: Optimizing Farmers’ Markets in Ontario
Melissa Johnston
The global food system has been criticized for being environmentally,
economically and socially unsustainable. As part of a local food movement,
farmers’ markets (FM) are undergoing a revival in response to the escalating
food system globalization of the past century. Despite the prevalence of FMs as
formalized organizations, there remains a significant range in their operational
strategies. Through 41 questionnaires and 17 interviews with market
administrators across Ontario, in collaboration with the Haliburton County
Farmers’ Market Association, I explored these strategies and analyzed the
influence of community characteristics on FM operations. Factors that appear to
have a significant impact on FM governance and management are market size
and age, willingness to adapt to change, and relationships with external
organizations. My findings suggest that democratic vendor engagement and
documentation of procedural systems can help optimize market administration.
In terms of vendor relationships, primary concerns include regulation of resellers,
diplomatic vendor pool design, and creation of a collaborative atmosphere. As
well, I conclude that customers are best viewed as socially invested
stakeholders with a strong interest in learning about local food production.

Files

Reference

Melissa Johnston, CR-953 Cultivating Change:
Optimizing Farmers’ Markets in Ontario