The Peterborough and District Farmers’ Market Association (PDFMA) conducted a customer survey at the beginning of the 2017 outdoor market season. Customers were asked to make suggestions to improve their market experience and several respondents expressed concerns regarding signage. They felt that the origin of produce and products needs to be clear for the public so they can be more informed when they shop.
SO WHAT’S THE FIRST STEP?
As a direct result, unique product identifier signs – “We Grow” “We Support” “We Produce” “We Raise” will officially roll out in our 2018 outdoor market season. We rolled out a “soft launch” (awareness phase) of our new signage at our indoor market on February 24, 2018. The concept of this signage is to help customers identify the origin of produce and products so they can make an informed choice while shopping at the market. The PDFMA also insists that ALL produce and products must be 100% Ontario grown and produced. This is our first step to help vendors collaborate and celebrate what they do, while advocating for transparency.
The signage program is designed to be all-inclusive – meaning that everyone at market can participate, from the farmer, wine maker, artisan, baker, Chef, to the crafters and others. Everyone must support each other, including the businesses that support Ontario farms and farmers by bringing their produce to sell for customers to enjoy at the market. It will also help vendors and farmers celebrate what they do WITHOUT NEGATING Ontario farmers, farms, or the farming industry. The program also includes supporting the many industries and organizations that supply packaging, robotics, equipment and everything related to the farming industry in Ontario. Local businesses, charities and organizations such Kawartha Choice Farm Fresh, Foodland Ontario and MyPick also play an integral role in the new signage program.
The PDFMA, requires vendors to disclose the location of their business/farm through their own signs or collateral. They are also encouraged to display their awards and certifications pertaining to the operation of their business. The PDFMA encourages vendors to post their official Kawartha Choice Farm Fresh, Foodland Ontario, or MyPick signs issued by the respected organizations at their booth. For more information, please visit:
Kawartha Choice Farm Fresh – https://kawarthachoice.com/
Foodland Ontario – https://www.ontario.ca/foodland/foodland-ontario
WHAT DOES EACH UNIQUE PRODUCT IDENTIFIER SIGN MEAN?
We Grow – The Farmer or Vendor grows 100% of the produce they offer.
We Support – The Farmer or Vendor does not grow, raise or produce the product but supports Ontario agriculture, education or local organizations that contribute significantly to the Ontario economy and community.
We Raise – The Farmer or Vendor raises 100% of the product. This is not limited to animals for food consumption or domestic use.
We Produce – The Farmer or Vendor produces 100% of the product. This is not limited to food production, artisans, crafts, and services.
The PDFMA is committed to refine our priorities, approach the existing needs of our Market, close critical gaps and help navigate new challenges and opportunities as they arise. The vision of the PDFMA continues to be the same – To be a prospering year-round marketplace destination that educates consumers and connects them with a network of new and generational food growers, producers and artisans. Our mission is to contribute to the sustainability of agriculture by enhancing access to fresh, local Ontario produce and goods and by fostering a lively and diverse market that inspires relationships between farmers, entrepreneurs and the community.
The PDFMA is extremely grateful to the Peterborough community for their continued support and to our vendors for the quality of products and services they bring to our Market. We plan to continue to enjoy this beautiful landmark of our community for years to come. Everyone is encouraged to visit the market to learn more about what we are doing to advocate for transparency, while improving our market operations for our customers, vendors, and the community at large.
The PDFMA Board of Directors