BC Association of Farmers' markets
Supporting BC farmers and sustaining our local food supply means ensuring we have land to farm and fresh food to eat. It's a way to nurture the places we live and visit.

2018 Conference Workshop Descriptions

2018 Conference Workshop Descriptions

Networking Events

  • FREE! Roundtable Sessions for Vendors and Market Managers
    • Friday, March 2, 2018 (2-5pm) @ Inn at Laurel Point
    • Do you have questions you'd like to discuss with other vendors, farmers, or market managers? This is your chance! Bring your questions and queries to the Market Manager and Vendor Round Table sessions. These sessions are FREE, but please register to let us know you're coming!
  • Friday Night Welcome Reception
    • ​Friday, March 2, 2018 (7-9pm) @ TBD
    • Come connect with other BCAFM members! The reception includes scrumptious appetizers, a voucher for a local beverage and cash bar.
  • Banquet & Farmers' Market Awards
    • Saturday, March 3, 2018 (7-10pm) @ TBD.
    • Join us for a sumptuous feast of food and drink. This evening will feature our annual Farmers' Market Awards ceremony,

MarketSafe Training

Date: Friday, March 2
Time: 9:30am to ~5pm
Venue: Inn at Laurel Point

MarketSafe training is for farmers, food processors and producers who make, bake or grow products to sell at local farmers' markets, farm gates or other types of temporary food markets. It increases awareness and knowledge of food safety and safe food handling procedures for farmers’ market vendors, market managers, farm gate vendors, home kitchen small scale food processors, and others who may make, bake or produce food products for public consumption outside of regulated food service establishments. MarketSafe is not equivalent to FOODSAFE Level 1. 

Please note, if you registered for an All-Inclusive or Conference Only pass, this MarketSafe training is already included. You can also register for MarketSafe training on its own ($25). Limited to 50 participants. 

Workshop List

* Workshops will be added as they are being confirmed. The list is subject to change. Please check back regularly for workshop additions and updates.

Workshop Descriptions

Building Community Through Social Connection: Creating and Implementing a Cohesive Marketing Strategy for Your Market

Melissa Hartfiel and Ethan Adeland, Food Bloggers of Canada
Social media and social influencer marketing aren’t new but they do evolve at a speed that can make your head spin. Making the most of these powerful tools can become time consuming and, at times, confusing. But following a consistent, 12 month, cohesive social marketing plan can pay back in dividends by helping build a healthy, engaged community around your market. It can expand your market demographics, encourage word of mouth marketing, increase foot traffic, and encourage your vendors to amplify your social marketing efforts through their own social channels.

This session will give you all the tools you need to create and implement a social strategy for your market and give you the confidence to evolve your plan as the social landscape changes. Here’s what will be covered:

·  An overview of existing social platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Snapchat, including their demographics and personalities (they’re not all the same and they each require their own approach!)
·  Tools, apps and templates available to help you schedule updates (so you aren’t tied to your phone 24/7), keep track of your content and create videos and graphics on the fly
·  Tips on content creation for each social channel and how to repurpose content across different channels
·  How to use Instagram Stories, Instagram Live and Facebook Live for in the moment updates and showcasing your vendors (we can run an Instagram Live from our account during the workshop and invite attendees to participate)
·  Tips for involving market vendors in your social plan including ways to cross promote- How to approach and work with local social influencers, chefs, nutritionists and dieticians as part of your social strategy
·  Tips for recruiting local students to create a social “street team” on market days
·  Strategies for creating fresh, consistent content throughout the winter months to keep your market top of min

Connecting the Dots - Cowichan's Food Hub

Heather Kaye, www.cow-op.ca; Debra Cebula, Cowichan Green Community
This workshop will explore some of the initiatives food security organization Cowichan Green Community (CGC) and its partner, farmer and food processor co-operative, the Cowichan Valley Co-operative Marketplace (aka Cow-op), are currently delivering as part of their effort to build a comprehensive food hub for the Cowichan region. Particular emphasis will be given to the online marketplace initiative, www.cow-op.ca.

Attendees will learn critical factors for engagement and success as well as have the opportunity to ask questions about how this model might be applied to other regions. Our goal is to showcase the powerful potential in food security and economic development that can happen/is happening when all of these programs successfully intersect.

Participants will be provided a template of questions that can be asked in order to determine whether this type of model can be applied to other communities or regions. We will connect the dots together! Food Hub initiatives that will be covered include:

1. On the farmer and food processor side:
- the co-operative and its online farmers' market initiative, www.cow-op.ca
- CGC’s commercial kitchen for small-scale processors

- CGC’s Equipment and Processing Library pilot program
2. On the consumer side:
- CGC's BCAFM coupon program
- CGC’s Cowichan Grown Farm, Food and Drink Map

- CGC’s Educational opportunities including cooking classes, preservation workshops, urban farming and compost demonstration, and FruitSave – a gleaning project for unwanted fruit

Growing Your Small Farmers' Market

Miche Warwick, Eat Grow Flourish
The purpose of this interactive session is to help small farmers' market managers/teams (and vendors!) learn tangible tips and tricks for starting and growing small farmers' markets into sustainable and busy marketplaces. This session will look at:
- attracting and retaining new vendors
- the benefits of creating a community-driven society/market team

- marketing + promotions tips and tricks geared specifically for small markets
- financial management, fundraising and grant streams
- recruiting and maintaining volunteers
- farmers' market structure
- how to build a small farmers' market that emphasizes and celebrates local food
- reselling: what not to do

- the benefits of operating a year round farmers' market, and how to do it successfully as a small market
- operating a small farmers' market as a business incubator (akin to a chamber of commerce, almost!)
- revenue streams: getting creative to boost annual revenue
- paying a market manager: hurdles, how to overcome them, and creative solutions to a not-so-easy-to-solve problem

This workshop will be very interactive, and participants will come away with new contacts, ideas, as well as a Growing Small Farmers’ Market Tool Kit. 

Market Research and Marketing Strategy

Greg McLaren and Vanessa Daether, Farm|Food|Drink Business Advisory Team & Left Field Marketing
Greg McLaren, Managing Director of Farm|Food|Drink Business Advisory Team & Left Field Marketing, with Research Lead Vanessa Daether, will be presenting the results of the Market Research and Market Development Strategy conducted during Spring-Fall 2017, on behalf of the BC Association of Farmers’ Markets.
During this presentation, Vanessa will present on the research phase of the project, highlighting the outcomes and recommendations. From there, Greg will discuss how those research recommendations influenced the second phase, and the strategies and tactics developed for BCAFM and their BC farmers’ market members.
This presentation offers key insights into strategic opportunities for BCAFM in both the short and long term and will also offer an overview of the current market situation for BC farmers’ markets, and what they can do to effectively grow their market share and sales on a region by region basis.

New Organics Standards

The Certified Organic Associations of BC (COABC) 
Description to come.

Process Safe

Sion Shyng, BC Centre for Disease Control
Description to come.

Selling at Farmers' Markets: Case Studies

Description to come.

Traceability from Farm to Fork

Christopher Napier, Napier West Enterprises
Regulatory affairs is a largely misunderstood segment of the food industry. It can be found as a sub-department under the umbrella of better understood departments within companies. Some examples include product development, legal, and quality assurance. Wherever the regulatory team falls within an organization, its task is the same.

Regulatory affairs isn’t just about creating compliant label copy for new product launches. Although creating compliant nutrition facts panels, nutrition content claims and accurate ingredient declarations is a big part of the job, a much larger part of the job is the paper work which goes along with it. This is where regulatory affairs becomes instrumental in the monumental task of traceability. The thankless and grueling work of sourcing and filing specifications, nutrition information, allergen information and Kosher certificates, not to mention certificates of analysis and certificates of guarantee, often falls on the regulatory team. Without this, traceability cannot exist. Christopher Napier, Regulatory Affairs Specialist, will guide you through the tricky world of nutritional labelling and set you on the path to making your products 100% traceable.


Transparency at Farmers' Markets

Description to come.