Find reports and studies about the Creston Valley Farmers’ Market below. All of the links will take you to the complete reports or studies.
Year End Reports
The Farmers’ Market started off the year on a great foot, thanks to the development of a comprehensive 38-page business plan undertaken by the Farmers’ Market Committee, under the Food Action Coalition in the Spring of 2010. This plan ensured vendors of the previous seasons’ farmers’ market were included in the development of the market, and provided a strategy and vision for running the market.
A Farmers’ Market requires the coordination of many key players and organizations in the community. Thanks to three grants totaling $5000 from our three directors with the Regional District of the Central Kootenay (Area A, Garry Jackman; Area B, John Kettle; and Area C, Larry Binks), we were able to hit the ground running. With these funds we were able to create an archway entrance to the market, which was a highlight for vendors and customers. We also purchased four collapsible canopies for vendors to rent out on a weekly basis, which removed a barrier for some vendors starting out. Thanks to the Town of Creston, we were able to use the space at Millennium Park during the summer months for $1.
The 2011 Farmers’ Market Year continued upon the success from 2010. We expanded the number of markets, starting 6 weeks earlier than 2010 (open outdoors the first Saturday of May), plus we did a trial for a mid-week summer market in Spirit Square. The revenue for the market approximately doubled from 2010, which meant a huge increase in the number of vendors joining us at market. Seeing this kind of growth and learning how to manage it properly, the Farmers’ Market embarked on a comprehensive business plan to outline how the market operates and strategize for future growth.
Throughout the late winter and early spring, there were indoor markets hosted at Rotocrest Hall. This makes the 2014 year the first that we operated 12 months of the year. With only 18 tables available, there was not enough room to fit all the vendors who wanted to participate! The outdoor season began its second year at the outdoor location on Cook Street, just behind the Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Centre. This great location provides a great visibility for people passing through town. In the year-end vendor survey, as one vendor noted, “I had numerous customers that stopped at the market because they saw it as they drove by.” We are incredibly thankful to the Town of Creston for being so supportive of the Farmers’ Market by providing this space. The indoor fall/ early winter season was again held at Morris Greenhouse. Nothing can beat the ambiance provided by the natural light and plants in the greenhouse! Although, our biggest challenge in that space is we are simply too big! Parking is limited, and at the height of the market before Christmas, the 37 vendors were packed to the rafters to get a spot.
The Farmers’ Market continues to grow and change. One of the big initiatives of the year was to develop a new logo and integrate our marketing to the Creston Valley Brand. Thanks to Jesse Willicome from Skimmerhorn Consulting who undertook this project! The Farmers’ Market revenue has been steadily increasing since the Food Action Coalition took over operations in 2010. In 2009, market revenue was approximately $2000, so the jump to $12,000+ was incredible. 2011 just boggled our minds that the market could be so successful. With revenues now approaching $30,000 annually, we can truly say the market operations are self-sufficient. Grants are currently being used to expand the market to year-round. Market revenue has increased 23.3% over the past two years!
This business plan was created by a dedicated group of volunteers, under the leadership of Len Parkin. The Creston Valley Food Action Coalition was willing to take the Farmers’ Market under their non-profit umbrella and hire a manager to coordinate the market activities. This plan provided a framework to operate under in the first season, and the massive growth of the market in 2010 and 2011 lead the market to undertake another planning process through 2011 and 2012.
Now with two years of operations complete, a new more comprehensive plan was needed to guide market operations and to truly assess the markets viability for the coming years. With the significant growth over the past two seasons, the CVFM decided it was time to reassess how the market operates and understand the CVFM’s role to their vendors, their market shoppers and broader community. A comprehensive financial analysis is provided in the appendix of this business plan. These financial documents have been developed on the principles of creating a Blended Value Farmers Market, where goals are measured on mission objectives as well as financial objectives. One outcome of these principles is the non-cash activity of In-Kind Contributions and Hidden Costs are included as part of the Cash Flow forecast because of the potential impact they could have on the enterprises’ operations should those circumstances vary. The overall financial goal is to be self-sufficient for day to day operations. Based on 2012 cash flow projections the dependency on grant funds is 36% of total revenues, not including the In-Kind Contributions. This business plan has outlined a number of ways the CVFM can reduce their dependency upon grant funding over the coming seasons.
The provincial project was completed by the BC Association of Farmers’ Markets, in collaboration with Dr. David Connell of the University of Northern British Columbia. The purpose of the provincial study was to measure the community and economic benefits of farmers’ markets across British Columbia in order to quantify the significant contributions of farmers’ markets and to increase their visibility both locally and provincially. This year’s project builds upon the success of a similar project completed in 2006. Six years later, by using similar methods we will be to assess changes that have taken place during this time. In total, 33 assessments were completed across the province in 2012.
Highlights of results for the Creston Valley Farmers’ Market:
- The estimated economic benefit of the Creston Valley Farmers’ Market to the local economy is approximately $1.72 million annually
- The estimated number of market customers on assessment day: 900 customers
- Over 250 market visitors participated in the study
- Average customer spending per visit: $23.98
- 57.8% of the survey respondents visit the market either ‘regularly’ (almost weekly) or ‘frequently’ (2-3 times per month)
- Estimated number of annual visits: 32,630