The Benefits of Joining Farmers’ Markets Ontario®
If you currently run a farmers’ market in Ontario or plan to start one, Farmers’ Markets Ontario is your one-stop shop for everything from liability insurance to personalized advice, as well as for management, marketing and professional development.
As a member, you not only will have a voice in the direction of farmers’ markets in the province, but also gain access to expert knowledge and advice of Ontario’s only provincially recognized group. FMO membership also provides your market with a powerful ally that will advocate on your behalf with municipalities, regulators and potential funders to help ensure the health and sustainability of your market.
Benefits of membership include:
Personalized consulting* to help with every aspect of farmers’ market management including:
- Establishing a new market or revitalizing an existing one including organizational design, operational review and governance models.
- Developing a strategic plan and/or marketing plan for your market.
- Determining ideal vendor and product mix.
- Recruiting, managing, training and supporting vendors.
- Assisting in the development of market bylaws & constitution and market rules.
- Providing assistance with provincial food safety regulations.
- Development of market conflict/compliance, workplace harassment and conflict resolution policies.
* Some consulting services are provided on a paid contractor basis.
A voice in the direction of farmers’ markets and local food systems in Ontario
- Have your say in the direction of Ontario farmers’ markets and FMO setting strategic directions and policy priorities by voting on important matters at the AGM or joining the FMO Board of Directors.
Advocacy on behalf of member markets
- FMO is the only recognized provincial voice for farmers’ markets in Ontario and is dedicated to assisting and supporting the efforts of farmers’ markets with all level of stakeholders in Ontario.
Extensive online resource library
- Access to a broad range of valuable tools and resources including market management tools, training, customized educational and promotional materials, templates and forms, tips on dealing with the media, how to plan and execute special events, vendor recruitment resources, a comprehensive food safety manual and on-going professional development to help you with every aspect of farmers’ market management.
Learning and networking opportunities
- Participate in the annual Farmers’ Markets Ontario symposium held in conjunction with the Ontario Fruit & Vegetable Convention which includes professional development seminars and workshops, keynote speakers addressing developing trends and a wonderful opportunity to network and share knowledge with fellow market managers.
- Participate in the online Market Managers Facebook Forum community connecting market managers across the province to share news and views, tips and ideas, suggest solutions to each other’s problems and more.
Market listing on the Farmers’ Markets Ontario website
- Get your market listed on the provincial farmers’ markets website with over 180 members across the province.
Specialize market insurance program
- Receive special group rates on farmers’ market commercial general liability insurance coverage from The Co-operators Group Limited (CGL), a Canadian-owned co-operative with over 70 years of history.
Annual awards of excellence
- Annual awards program recognizing outstanding markets, innovation and special events that are exemplary in adding value to their communities and the Ontario farmers’ market sector.
Transparency of local farmers
- Access to verification/certification FMO program members called MyPick® Verified Local Farmer® program. The MyPick logo is your assurance that Farmers’ Markets Ontario has visited the grower’s farm and has verified not only that the farm itself is “local” but that what the grower is selling is produced on his or her farm.
Certification courses for market managers and vendors
- Discounted purchase of our video-based, online Market Manager Certification program, a professionally developed by a certified coach, business owner and former farmers’ market manager.
- Discounted purchase of our video-based, online Vendor Certification course, a professionally developed course covering important elements to running a successful market business including marketing, promotions, merchandising, displays and best practices and winning strategies.
Member market and vendor promotion
- FMO actively promotes member markets and their vendors at the provincial level utilizing our extensive social media network and the online farmers’ market finder at farmersmarketsontario.com.
- FMO promotes the benefits of shopping at a farmers’ market with social media friendly video segments.
- Display the FMO member logo at your market and on your website and be recognized as a bonafide farmers’ market providing a credible and reliable source of locally grown food and other products.
Discounted pricing on market canopies
- Preferred supplier rates from Impact Canopies Canada Inc., providing manufacturing and distributing of all styles of canopies, pop up tents, and accessories.