FMC Partners with PASA to host ‘Making Markets Thrive’ Webinar Series

By: Stacy Miller       Posted On: January 2, 2014

The Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture and the Farmers Market Coalition are partnering this winter to host, “Making Markets Thrive: Research, Branding, and Retailer Strategies to Broaden the Base of Supporters,” a series of three webinars designed to provide farmers market managers, vendors, and volunteers with information and guidance to understanding the characteristics of their customer base, learn how to build a brand worthy of community support, and stay competitive in a rapidly evolving local food scene. The first program in the series will run on January 15, 1 p.m. ET and will focus on Understanding Your Core Customer Base. Editors note: recording and resources for this webinar are now available here

Two other webinars will follow on February 19th and March 19, addressing market branding and thinking like a retailer to stay competitive in a rapidly evolving local food marketplace. This webinar series is a joint partnership of Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture and the Farmers Market Coalition, supported by the USDA Farmers Market Promotion Program.  These webinars are free for Farmers Market Coalition members as well as all farmers markets and interested vendors in Pennsylvania.

“These webinars will give farmers market managers and volunteers a great opportunity to explore aspects of market sales, customer retention, and building new customer loyalty,” said Alissa Matthews, Western Pennsylvania Buy Fresh Buy Local Coordinator.  The first webinar, Understanding your Market Base: How Strategic Shopper Surveys Can Help You Grow the Number of Core Customers will include a presentation by Anne Freeman, Project Coordinator for Ontario’s Greenbelt Farmers’ Market Network in Canada, and Hélène St. Jacques, M. Ed., President, Informa Market Research Co. Ltd.  Together, they will share findings and implications from a  large regional study of farmers market shoppers conducted in Ontario.

Key take-away lessons for participants will be practical methods for researching customer perceptions and motivations, all in order to continuously improve services, spending, and satisfaction.

Registration for the January 15th webinar, along with information about the February and March sessions is available at


The Farmers Market Coalition is a national 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to strengthening farmers markets for the benefit of farmers, consumers, and communities.  Through its membership, FMC reaches 4,000 farmers markets, supporting their success through education, and networking, including webinars, an online Resource Library, and Market Manager Frequently Asked Questions. Learn more at

With over 6,000 members, the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture (PASA) is one of the largest and most active sustainable agriculture organizations in the U.S. Through educational programs and regional marketing assistance for farmers, advocacy, and public outreach, PASA seeks to promote profitable farms that produce healthy food for all people while respecting the natural environment. PASA’s hallmark event, the Farming for the Future Conference, draws thousands of participants from more than 30 states and six countries each February. For more information, visit