‘Grab and Go’- The New Style of Shopping at Farmers’ Markets
Every Saturday morning, I wake up early to the smell of freshly baked muffins and the sight of bright reds, purples, and pinks glistening inside mason jars. I pack my car with boxes of jams and jellies, grab my lawn chair and makeshift card table, and make sure my sign titled, “You’re Making Me Jelly” is still pristine and ready to be displayed. It’s past sunrise now and I set up shop at my local farmers’ market, greeting familiar faces and grazing the other vendors to see if freshly picked blueberries are still in season. As I welcome customers to my stand, shake their hands and offer free samples with my homemade honey oat muffins, I can’t help but feel a sense of pride for my small community of local farmers, crafters, and creators. Selling homemade jams and jellies has been a hobby of mine for the past year as a college student. It’s a great opportunity for me to practice my networking skills with local businesses, and I take pleasure in cultivating local produce and creating something beautiful to share.
Since the pandemic, I have had to close shop in an effort to practice social distancing and because of a lack of customers. Many fellow vendors in my hometown have had to close down as well. The shared fear of catching the virus or being an asymptomatic carrier has changed how farmers’ markets are operated. My early morning routine of setting up shop is evolving too. My car is now packed with boxes of jams and jellies, face masks, hand sanitizers, and signs that read, “Please ask for samples” and “Six feet apart, please”. My story rings true for many American farmers participating in their local farmers’ market in the era of COVID-19. As America's economy is slowly reopening and recovering, I am looking forward to greeting the happy faces of my local community every Saturday morning.
A ‘grab and go’ approach is being cultivated in an effort to discourage crowds of people from lingering at vendors. For example, vendor contact information had been posted on the websites of local farmers’ markets coalitions, including my own, so that customers can directly call and order the amount of produce or stock they intend to buy the following Saturday morning. Farmers’ markets across the nation are thus introducing a ‘curbside pickup’ option for buyers. This limits the amount of human and social interaction, but stabilizes the small food supply chain system that defines farmers’ markets.
With the simplicity of the Agromovil family of apps, businesses like my own will be able to easily adjust to the ‘curbside’ approach of selling locally harvested produce. By using our MATCH-BATCH-PAY platform, buyers and farmers can arrange deals and pickups without face-to-face interaction, cutting out intermediaries, unlocking trapped value in our current inefficient food system, and ensuring resilience in light of the global COVID-19 crisis. Agromovil will help farmers’ markets enjoy growth and financial stability in this new ‘grab and go’ culture through direct, safe transactions.
As a proud participant of my local farmers’ market and a member of the Agromovil team, I am confident that Agromovil will help my business grow and stay safe in these unpredictable times. With over 8,500 farmers’ markets currently registered in the U.S., it is imperative that we support our local producers with tools that can improve their visibility. I encourage my fellow small farming communities to download the app and test our product in the field. I also invite small farmers and local vendors to contact us through our website and follow our journey on social media. Together, we can continue our efforts to share our homemade crafts and harvests with our communities, all while ensuring safety and profitability with Agromovil.
Communications & Grant Intern