Farmers’ Markets – OFN Setup Process

Setting up a farmer’s market on the OFN is a three part process:

  1. Create a group page- this acts as a directory of all producers who participate in the market(s).
  2. Add your stallholder’s profiles to the group page- You may need to create profiles for stallholders, or they can do this themselves.
  3. Setup shopfronts –  Stallholders may wish to operate their own independent online shop from their profile. Alternatively stallholders may wish to collaborate with others and open a collective shopfront, which sells items from multiple stallholders in the one shop.

Step 1:  Create a group page

If you manage or are involved in a farmers market and would like to create an OFN group page for it, the first thing to do is to contact us and we’ll setup the page for you. Your market group page will be a personalised directory of enterprises who participate in your markets. For an example checkout the Melbourne Farmer’s Markets group page below.

MFM Directory

Once we’ve created a group page for you, you can customise it with your own content, including an about us blurb, logo and photos. For more details about managing content on your group page click here. Adding ‘enterprises’, or your members’s profiles, to your group page is discussed below.

Ask us about embedding your Farmers’ Market group directory into your own website.

Step 2: Add your stallholder’s profiles to the group page

Once your page is setup the next step is to add profiles of your member enterprises to the group, this includes the market(s) itself and your stallholders. You can create a profile for your market(s) by following steps 1-4 in the Hub setup guide and then adding the profiles to the group. You can also add any stallholder profiles that are already on the OFN, just search for these in the group admin page. There are two options for setting up profiles for your members who don’t already have a profiles on the OFN.

Option 1 – Create profiles for your members:

The farmers’ market manager may choose to set up profiles for their stallholders on their behalf. This option is appealing as you’ll get your members setup quickly and have something to show them to help them visualise the new platform.

Here is the link to the relevant section of the hub user guide which describes how to create multiple profiles for producers.

If you chose this option, it’s a good idea to set these profiles to ‘invisible’ until you’re ready to launch the new group page. When markets launch they’ll often send out an email to members. Part of this process is to give members the options of taking ownership of their profiles, so that they can keep them up to date. This email is a good chance to explain the intention of the group and to invite participation.

To transfer ownership of a profile to the stallholder, edit that profile and type the stallholder’s email in the ‘notification’ field, within the ‘Users’ tab. This will trigger an email to that address, and when confirmed, that user will become the ‘manager’ of that profile, will full ability to login and modify it. More details about transferring ownership can be found here.

Option 2 – Invite your members to create their own profiles:

Alternatively, you can ask your stallholders to each setup their own profile. They can do this by following the steps in the producer setup guide. When their profile is setup, they’ll need to let you know so you can add them to your group page, in the group page admin.

Note: Asking members to place their preferences into a google form is a good way to efficiently capture their responses (e.g. if they want to take ownership of a profile, or if they want to be added to your group).

Step 3: Setup shopfronts

Farmers’ Markets can take different approaches to using the the OFN. These configurations are described below.

Group page with profiles

The farmers market has their interactive group page setup, with full profiles for all of their markets and stallholders. With this model, there are no online shops as part of the group. The instructions above describe the setup of this model.

Group page with profiles and producer shops

As above, the farmers market has their interactive group page, with full profiles for all of their markets and stallholders. In addition some producers will also operate independent online shops, which may provide pre-ordering for collection at the market, or delivery options for customers who cannot attend the market. They may also have sales which are completely separate from the market, such as sales in their local township.

Group page with profiles, producer shops and a farmers’ market hub shop

The OFN’s high degree of flexibility makes it possible for collectives of enterprise to easily setup, trial and operate a great variety of collaborative sales arrangements. Two configurations, are covered below, however if you have questions regarding any other models don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Collective online shop, without central coordination by a farmer’s market

A group of stallholders will open a shopfront which stocks products from multiple producers. Here customers can place orders for items across multiple stallholders rather than needing to place orders with each stallholder separately. The participating stallholders will devise a means of coordinating the packing and delivery of these orders. It might be that each stallholder bags and labels their component of the orders, ready to pack into boxes on market day. Or perhaps they will alternate in the task of walking between stallholders at the end of the market at picking up the required items. Orders may be delivered by the stallholders after the market, back in their home locale, or around the market. Or alternatively, a storage and collection agreement may be made with a nearby cafe or shop.

 With coordination by the Farmers’ Market.

A representative of the farmers’ market may take responsibility for coordinating an online shop, which sells items from multiple stallholders. Each week they’ll be tasked with checking availability of stock, opening the shop, packing the orders on market day and arranging delivery. This model is often pitched at customers who cannot attend the market, such as local workplaces or cafes and restaurants. This model may require some market facilities such as a cool room. The coordinator will also take responsibility for managing payments from customers and for paying the stallholders their share. Enterprise fees can be used to allocate a certain mark-up to the coordinator for their services.

OFN allows for piloting of different models easily and quickly, talk to us if you have another idea.

Features in the pipeline

  • Splitting payments between farmers, according to which items of theirs were sold in a collective shop is a feature that’s COMING SOON
Ask us about embedding your Farmers’ Market group directory into your own website.