Have customers and vendors embraced the program?
The verified farmer’s market vendor program is more than six months old. The program gives market shoppers 100% certainty they are buying from legitimate, local farmers, food producers and artists.
What has the response been from market shoppers? Are vendors signing up to be verified? We talked with Christie Fleck, the Executive Director of the Alberta Farmers’ Market Association (AFMA). Christie has been key in bringing the verified vendor program to life across Alberta’s farmers’ markets.
What has the feedback been from vendors? From market shoppers?
Our verified vendors are proudly displaying their verified banners at farmers’ markets. Vendors are excited to share with customers what it means to be verified and the decision behind why they choose to become verified.
It is a great starting point for conversations about what it means to support local businesses. Customers appreciate knowing that the market businesses they support are transparent about how their products are grown or made. Customers are looking for the verified logo and banners when they shop their favourite market.
How many vendors are verified?
There are currently 135 verified vendors and another 42 who are working on finalizing their applications. It has been great to see the strong response from so many types of vendors located in every part of our province.
Can vendors become verified through the winter months when markets are a bit slower?
Vendors can apply to become verified at any time of the year. We recommend vendors review the Quick Start Guide to ensure they have all of the required documents collected before beginning their application.
A great time to apply would be in February when vendors are renewing their AFMA memberships for the upcoming market season. It is important to remember that verification needs to be renewed annually.
Will you be making any changes or enhancements to the program?
The program will be continually evolving to ensure it meets the needs of vendors, market managers and market shoppers. As more vendors get verified, we may discover new products and challenges that we have not encountered previously.
Vendors are individual businesses with unique products. We are tweaking the verification requirements to ensure the integrity of the program is maintained.
Final comments or thoughts?
We are ready to get more vendors on board and reach more market shoppers. We are excited that this program ensures the integrity, food safety and authenticity of farmers’ market vendors and farmers’ markets in Alberta.