When we released the news a few weeks ago that ManageMyMarket created ways for CNG growers to become more visible and searchable on farmers market websites, we wondered, what other tools are out there for farmers market managers?
Our search led us to a few leaders in the farmers market game: FarmSpread and MarketWurks, in addition to ManageMyMarket. (photo above is from Umpqua Valley Farmers Market in Roseburg, Oregon, and features Big Lick Farm)
A newcomer to the market management scene, FarmSpread, is just as valuable to farmers market vendors as it is to the market managers. We heard about them through the Farmers Market Coalition, which is partnering with FarmSpread this year. All FMC members can receive a 15% discount on their 2018 subscription to this market management system. They provided a screenshot (above) of what farmers markets websites look like, featuring a vendor map, list of vendors, and types of goods.
For managers, there are tools for analyzing the balance of vendor types (are there too many bakers at your market and not enough farmers?), inviting farmers to join your market, tracking those invitations, and managing vendors’ payments. Vendors can use FarmSpread to manage their inventory and apply to the market for the days they wish to attend. On the farmers’ market website, vendors can post images and descriptions of their products and describe their farming and/or production practices--a web service that comes in handy for producers who don’t have their own websites. (see above for examples).
Marketwurks was developed by a farmers market manager in Whistler, Canada. They enable you to embed a vendor application to your market’s website, and enable vendors to create public profiles on the market website. What sets Marketwurks apart is their vibrant maps of vendors at the market, which are useful not only for market managers who need to plan where each vendor will be, but also for customers wondering which local producers will show up at the market, and where to find them.
Another perk of MarketWurks, we recently learned, is that they host a facebook group for farmers market managers to contribute feedback on the service or offer suggestions, which MarketWurks developers consider when improving the service.
One of the first to offer web service for farmers market managers is ManageMyMarket. This Oregon-based company grew out of Portland’s farmers market scene and has since become popular nationwide. They first crossed our radar when we were reaching out to farmers market managers using their software. They illuminated the need for MMM to offer some sort of visual distinction for Certified Naturally Grown farmers on the market maps and vendor searches that MMM subscribers embed in their market websites. The staff at MMM was happy to offer that service, and earlier this year, made it possible for farmers to list CNG certification on their vendor profiles (see profile above). This service is a great option for market managers who wish to highlight their members’ Organic and CNG certifications. Thank you, ManageMyMarket!