Farmers Market LIFE

Farmers' Market LIFE: Using participatory research to expand the customer base of Farmers' Market shoppers

USDA Agricultural Marketing Service’s Farmers’ Market Promotion Program 2019-2021

Rojas Family Farm booth at the farmers' marketProject Summary: Using community-based participatory research, this project will identify obstacles for low-income residents (e.g. SNAP users, families with young children, and older adults), minorities (e.g. Latinos), and others to shop at farmers’ markets and collaboratively devise locally-relevant innovations to make farmers’ markets more inclusive, welcoming, and inviting for the whole community.

Structural, operational, and marketing innovations based on research findings will be piloted at three farmers’ markets to mitigate commonly experienced obstacles to shopping at farmers’ markets, make markets more responsive and reflective of the communities where they are located, and expand the overall customer-base of farmers’ market shoppers. Promising practices will be scaled to 15 farmers’ markets in Sonoma and Marin County through a community-engagement campaign.

Pre- and post-evaluation will document changes in sales, customer experience, and customer demographics at farmers’ markets. Project outcomes will improve the financial viability of farmers’ market vendors, support regional economic development, and community health.  ... download full project summary here

Project research: Market Environmental Inclusivity Scan