Eastern Ontario Agri-Food Network / Réseau agroalimentaire de l'Est ontarien

Market Support Service

The Eastern Ontario Agri-Food Network (EOAN) is a non-profit organisation dedicated to coordinating the development of the local agri-food sector in Eastern Ontario and fostering dialogue between its members and partners.

A market represents a lot of work for volunteers and community leaders including organizing, promoting, administration, bookkeeping, etc... Community organizations are often short of volunteers and skills to be successful. The EOAN offers administrative support services to farmers' markets and other multi-vendor markets where local farmers and food producers are active. As result, the local leaders can focus on their primary job: organizing and promoting the market. 

Here are some principals guiding this service offering:

  • The community leader is the market leader, formulates the market policy, owns the market name, sets the vendor fees, supervises the market budget, and promotes the market to the vendors and the public.
  • The EOAN provides back office support tailored to the needs of each market, advises the market leader on technical and logistical matters, and ultimately takes direction from the market leader.
  • In supporting and advising the market leader, the EOAN takes a hard position on matters relative to the market's legal obligations, the Ontario food safety regulations, and general ethnical business practices. In extreme cases, the EOAN may withdraw from a market if it feels that the market has crossed certain legal and/or ethical boundaries.

The market leader plays the following role in service agreement with the EOAN:

  • Leads a market steering committee of local volunteers and vendors.
  • Creates and manages the market's brand, name, logo, and marketing materials.
  • Sets the market policies, pandemic protection protocols, vendor fees,  and budget. 
  • Decides if the market is a multi-vendor market or a farmers' market (51% or more farmers).
  • Recruits vendors and submits the vendor list to the EOHU for approval in the case of a farmers' market.
  • Promotes the market to the public, manages the market's social media, and speaks to the media.
  • Organizes special events for the market. 
  • Provides on-site paid staff or volunteers to manage the market activities.

The EOAN is available to assume any of the following roles, adapted to the needs of each market.

  • Provide general general market liability insurance.
  • Perform bookkeeping, banking, and financial reporting. 
  • Create and monitor online vendor application and registration forms.
  • Invoice the vendors and receive payments.
  • Receive and pay bills for market expenses and supplies.
  • Set up and maintain the market website.
  • Provide technical, regulatory, and administrative advice to the market leader.
  • The EOAN does not subsidize the market. A request for a monetary contribution to the market is a separate subject and can be presented to the Board of Directors of the EOAN for budgetary consideration.
  • The EOAN charges the market an affordable fee for service that takes priority over the payment of onsite market staff or other discretionary market expenses. 
  • The EOAN fairly and equitably promotes all markets that are members of the EOAN and does not give promotional preference to a market where it provides administrative support services.