The Ontario Vendor Certification Program is the first of its kind: a professional development course conceived by Farmers’ Markets Ontario® and developed in conjunction with Michelle Wolf, a certified coach, business owner and former farmers’ market manager.

Michelle presents the course material in a series of 3 webinars that are 60 to 90 minutes in length. There are no deadlines to meet. You learn at your own pace. Upon completing the program, you will receive a certificate acknowledging that you have successfully completed the course!

DETAILS
The cost of the program is based on the number of participants.

  • 1 participant $40 (HST included)
  • 3-5 participants $35 per participant (HST included)
  • 5+ participants $25 per participant (HST included)

To access the webinars:

  1. Email the following participant information to fmo@farmersmarketsontario.com: name, business name, list of all farmers’ market that participant sells at, email address and phone number.
  2. E-transfer the amount due to fmo@farmersmarketsontario.com and include your name in the comments area.

When payment is received, you will receive a password via email to access the webinars.

NOTE: The webinars are password-protected and are only accessible to those who have registered.

Webinar 1: Marketing and Promotions for Farmers’ Market Vendors

We’ll start the program by taking a practical look at what brings people to farmers’ markets, what draws people to specific booths within a farmers’ market, and how to build a farmers’ market business without relying on the market itself to grow the customer base. I will introduce the “3P Principle” for farmers’ market selling and give some specific examples of how vendors can do effective marketing on a shoestring budget. Farmers’ market selling is unique, even from other direct marketing approaches. We need to take advantage of our sector’s powerful value proposition, and consider what marketing really means in our context.

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Webinar 2: Merchandising and Displays – Building a Great Farmers’ Market Booth

Fantastic product and a great personality are two of the three key ingredients for success in direct selling. The third is merchandising and how you set up your booth and display. This presentation will feature over 100 photograph slides from farmers’ markets and farm stands throughout North America, showcasing the do’s and don’ts of successful merchandising. Vendors will see common mistakes that are made when setting up a farmers’ market booth, and will learn what small tweaks can make a big impact towards improving visibility, likeability, and relevance for customers.

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Webinar 3: Best Practices and Winning Strategies for Sales and Success at Farmers’ Markets

Marketing and merchandising are foundational to a great farmers’ market business. And yet, there is more to success. In the final webinar of this series, we will discuss what great customer service looks like specifically for farmers’ market shoppers, and I will share quotes and ideas from other highly successful vendors who have tips to share about great people skills, good vendor etiquette, strategies for surviving market day, how to make the most out of your precious few hours at market, and much much more. This is a round-up of farmers’ market vending best practices and a collection of wisdom that can make a big difference for scaling up any farmers’ market business.

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