Assistance to get farmers’ markets online
Saturday 14 July 2012
Funding from the Victorian Government will help to build the online presence of the state’s farmers’ market network in a bid to boost efficiency and exposure.
At the Kyneton Farmers’ Market today, Agriculture and Food Security Minister Peter Walsh said the $237,100 project would focus on opportunities for small food producers to make the most of online opportunities.
“More and more Victorian consumers are turning to the web and shopping online,” Mr Walsh said. “This initiative will establish a market management system and optimise the promotional and administrative systems of the Victorian Farmers’ Markets Association (VFMA).
Two in five stallholders do not have a listed URL for their business and only one in 10 have an email address listed with the VFMA, which indicates they are probably not using any form of online communication or promotion.
Helping individual businesses and markets increase their online activity will increase awareness and availability of local produce, driving business to individual producers as well as to farmers’ markets more broadly.
The VFMA Information Technology Project will target the three key segments of the farmers’ markets – stallholders, market managers and the VFMA - with IT products and services developed to support each segment.
VFMA president Miranda Sharp said the grant would enhance the work already undertaken by the VFMA on behalf of Victorian producers.
“Communication and accessibility is the key to supporting the next stage of growth and development,” Ms Sharp said.
Project components will include:
- Development and roll out of a range of IT workshops targeting different business groups,products and skill levels;
- Development of website templates that are appealing and accessible for farmers’ marketsand their producers;
- An accreditation database that is accessible online to stallholders and market managers for applications, renewals and inspections;
- A market management tool to streamline stallholder bookings and save time for market managers; and
- VFMA iPhone app development
Mr Walsh said the State Government funding would be provided through the $2 million Farmers’ Markets Support Program.
“The Farmers’ Markets Support Program is designed to help farmers’ markets across the state as economically sustainable community events which bring fresh local produce from farmer to consumer,” Mr Walsh said.
The VFMA Information Technology Project is expected to be completed by December 2013.