The Marlborough Farmers Market Fact Sheet
How long has the Marlborough Farmers’ Market been running?
The Marlborough Farmers Market opened the Gates in 2001 at the A&P park.
What is Ownership Structure and Business structure of the MFM?
The Marlborough Farmers Market is an Incorporated Society, administrated by an elected committee of up to nine members with an elected Chairperson, Treasurer and Secretary. The committee employs a stallholder manager to oversee the day to running and management of the market so the committee can focus on governance issues. The Marlborough Farmers Market is a not for profit organisation and all funds go into the ongoing success of the market. In tens years of trading we have had three small losses and seven small profits with all money being invested back into the market
What are your main products and or services that the Marlborough Farmers’ Market provides to its members the stallholders?
The markets’ main aim is to provide a venue for local food producers to sell edible goods directly to the consumer. It is an incubator for local food businesses and has three basic rules that our producers follow:
the product must be edible,
the product must come from the Marlborough region
the product must be sold by somebody involved in the production of it.
The full set of rules is available from the stallholder manager.
What is the vision for the Marlborough Farmers Market?
To increase the network of local food producers in the Marlborough region and to educate, promote local produce to consumers.
Who is employed by the Market and what do they do?
The Committee employs a Operations Manager for 15-20 hours per week to oversee the successful market operation. Up to six cooks are employed for up to 5 hours per week to oversee the breakfast stall.
Why does the market run the breakfast kitchen at the markets?
The kitchen is a vital source of income for the market and all profits from go back into the successful running of the market. Each year the kitchen generate approx ten thousand dollars of profit back into the running of the market. They use market produce to promote stallholders and educate consumers. The kitchens use as much market and local product as possible. This includes produce from other Marlborough producers who do not currently sell at the market. Some products such as yoghurt, wraps, cheese and sour cream are purchased from a local wholesaler. Because the market does not have a regular bakery each week we work with New World Bakery to supply some items for the kitchen such as croissants. The committee retains the right to run the hot food kitchen at the market as part of its objectives and goals. This has been the policy since the inception of the market and is also used by other Farmers markets as a revenue source.
Why are there no arts and crafts at the Marlborough Farmers market?
This is a common rule for the majority of Authentic Farmers’ markets around the world. Farmers’ markets are about all about local food experiences and the opportunity for the local food producers to be the heroes of the day – there are plenty of others styles of markets that cater to arts and crafts. One of the key focuses is that every dollar at the market will be spent with local food producers.
Who are the Marlborough Farmers’ Markets most important suppliers and partners?
We have a strong network with local Marlborough producers, businesses, accommodation providers, wineries, Marlborough District Council, Destination Marlborough and national and local media/tourist outlets, A1 Laundry (kitchen laundry), Marlborough Lines and the A&P association. Radio Works provide us with an ongoing advertising sponsorship package that allows us to promote the market at a very small cost. Farmers’ Markets NZ provides networking and academic results used for longer term strategy planning.
What costs are associated with running the Marlborough Farmers’ Market?
The committee reports its finances to its members yearly at the AGM. We have two landlords, the Marlborough District Council from whom we rent the grounds and the A&P association from whom we rent the wet weather option.. We pay public liability insurance, advertising, vehicle costs, staff expenses, assets and all other costs associated with running a business. Because we are a not for profit association we are able to obtain better community rates. We received one off seeding funding from Marlborough District Council in 2001 and do not rely on any outside funding sources. All staff receive payment for their services, and we have one volunteer helper who has been with us for many years. The committee are all volunteers and all positions are by nomination from other members.
How doe the Marlborough Farmers’ Market ensure success in the face of competition?
By constantly ensuring that we abide by our own rules and regulations so that we provide an authentic and transparent “local” shopping experience for our consumers and by also educating producers on the benefit of selling direct to the consumers’.
What are the key challenges facing the Marlborough Farmers’ Market?
A key challenge is to maintain the authenticity of the farmers’ market principles and the growing of our producer database against a naturally declining horticultural sector. Further challenges are the weekly running of a market place that is so dependant on the weather and encouraging the long term growth of the horticultural/growing area in the Marlborough region. The Marlborough Farmers’ market is encouraged by the number of children and families who currently shop at the market on a weekly basis.
What are the key Objectives of the Marlborough Farmers Market?
These were established in 2001 with the founding committee and remain true to the present day
1. To provide a venue for producers to locally market their produce.
2. To provide customers with varied certified local produce of high quality and with a high standard of
3. To provide liaison between customers and producers.
4. To abide by the rules of the Farmers Market concept.
How do you satisfy existing consumers and ensure that you retain loyal stallholders?
By offering good management practices to stallholders and high levels of expectation for quality, price and service to our consumers we continue to grow year on year By having an on site information/management stall where potential stallholders/food producers can find out about the market and consumers’ can access stallholder information. We require any issues or complaints to be put in writing so that our manager and committee can work through the issues as set out in the farmers Market constitution.
How does the Marlborough Farmers’ Market ensure that everyone throughout its’ organisation understands and responds to customers needs?
There is a high level of one on one communication to ensure that all of our stallholders understand that they are representing not only themselves but that of the whole market and food producers of the Marlborough region. While stallholders are ultimately responsible for there own three meter trading space they all play an active role in ensuring that the market is kept vibrant and viable.
The Market has received the Certificate of Achievement 2008 Level one - Endorsement to Business Excellence Process and the Business Excellence Silver Award 2008 from the Marlborough Chamber of Commerce as well as the award for the Marlborough Chamber of Commerce 2003 - Service Award and the Marlborough Chamber of Commerce 2006 - Primary Industry Award.
The Marlborough Farmers Market is also one of the founding members of Farmers Markets NZ, winner of the Innovators Award by the restaurant association 2006.
Where can I find out more information about the Marlborough Farmers Market?
You can talk to the Stallholder Manager who is at the market each Sunday. As a member you can also be represented at the fortnightly committee meetings, twice yearly stall-holders gatherings, yearly stall-holders forum and Farmers Market social events.