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Managing A Market

Before you start to set up a Farmers' Market, we would strongly recommend that you approach KFMA or a manager of a Farmer's Market close to you, to discuss your ideas and plans in order to help move the ideas into reality. We would be very happy to help with this and to share our experiences.

One of our key reference documents is the ‘market manager job description’ and this summarises almost everything you might need to cover to get the market off the ground and is recommended as a ‘must-read’ document. Not all markets have a paid market manager and its not essential at the outset to have one person carry out all the tasks, they can be shared around if that’s the most practical way for you to start off with.

Just like any other retail outlet, your market should have a good selection of quality products to sell, at sensible prices, and will need to attract sufficient number of shoppers to make it a success.

However, it is important to realise from the outset that your stallholders are predominantly in business, and their continued presence at your market is determined by their individual economic viability. Consequently we suggest that the market needs to be set up and run in a business-like fashion from the outset, which we believe will bring benefits to all who are involved in it.

In this section we have provided advice and guidance on some of the practicalities of setting-up and running a farmers’ market.  Firstly, there are a number guidance documents, including “First steps: A guide to setting up a farmers’ market”, organisers of new markets should start with this.

This can be built upon by a series of more detailed “Getting Organised” documents:

  •  Developing a Market Plan – for new and existing market committees and managers.  This sets out the issues which need to considered and reviewed when running a market
  •  An example constitution – which can be used to help you establish the framework for the market, what the objectives are, and some other things to take into consideration to help you decide what sort of market you might want to set up and run.
  •  An example operating guide, Running the Market – which sets out sets out how the market could be run in terms of stallholders, opening times, having a management committee etc. without being top-heavy on paperwork!
  • You will also need to think about what sort of stallholders you might want, so to help your thinking about this, we have developed a short Stallholder Criteria template which can used to by market managers to help with stallholder selection and to accompany the application form, so that stallholders know what the manager expects of them.
  • An example stallholder agreement, Managing Stallholders, which covers the types of things that should be in place so that stallholders know what’s expected of them and what they can expect of you in return.
  • You should inform your Local Authority (Environmental health and Food Depts.) that you intend to set up a market. They will occasionally visit and check whether your Stallholders comply with the relevant standards

To help with the ‘day-job’ of running the market, we have also included a series of additional documents:

Markets wouldn’t be successful without a good range of produce and knowledgeable stallholders, so we have also tried to describe the areas that you would need to cover to get a good balance of variety and set the criteria for good value shopping; these include examples for:

  • Stallholder Standards – these are critical to ensuring that a market meets the principles of being a good farmers’ market.  It is important to make these clear to stallholders, and available to shoppers.
  • Stallholder Application Form – offers a template form for stallholders to complete.  It makes sure the manager has all the information needed about each business and that every stallholder confirms to having the appropriate registrations and qualifications required and explicitly signs up to meeting the Stallholder Standards. This form is important for a number of reasons, not least, it formally establishes a ‘contract’ between yourselves and them, and confirms that they can meet the basic standards that you expect of them, particularly in terms of insurances and food hygiene etc.

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