There is always something happening at IRMC. Keep up to date on things like the Year-Round Community Market, memberships and fundraising.
Nanaimo News Bulletin story and video of the Launch of the Summer Market at Beban Park
The Proposed Island Roots Market Co-op Market at Beban Park - Nanaimo Commons, May 17th 2017
Market Co-op, City working on lease for year-round market in Beban Park - Nanaimo News Now, May 13th 2017
1. Call to Order
2. President's remarks - the Beban Project - Update
3. Minutes of the last AGM
4. Business arising from minutes
5. Treasurer's Report
2017 Financial Statements
Auditor Resolve that the appointment of an auditor for 2018 be waived
6. Manager's Report - Summer Market plans. Special Events
7. Election of Directors - Want to be in on the action? Email us about serving on the Board.
8. Survey Results - Phyllis Horn, Farm Food Drink
9. New business
Farmers Market Prices
Your co-op recently hired consultants, Farm Food Drink, to examine the case for a year round farmers market at Beban Park and help determine a way forward for the Island Roots Market Co-op (IRMC). The first step the consultants took was to prepare and conduct a survey of vendors and consumers. Although the report is not yet ready the consultants will be sharing some of the survey’s findings with members at our Annual General Meeting and I thought I’d start that sharing now to give you an idea of what is to come. The AGM will begin at 7pm on Friday on April 6 in meeting room #1 at the Beban Park Social Center. Admission is free for members and non members can join online or at the door by buying one or more shares at $10 each.
Very few of the more than 350 consumers who completed the survey mentioned product price at all, and some of those who did also pointed out that much of the food sold in stores is grown in low wage areas and that vendors need to be able to earn a living from their sales. Others suggested that prices compare favorably to similar products sold elsewhere.
There was, however, one pricing issue raised in a number of consumer comments and it is one that vendors can deal with. It may also be the source of much of the common misconception that prices at the market are high when compared to products in stores. That issue is shock. Shock created by not knowing what a purchase at the market will cost until after a commitment or perceived commitment to purchase has been made.
Prices may be posted on a board or sign, in say, dollars per pound but there is often no quick and easy way to relate that $2.50 or $5.00/lb to the cost of a half dozen tomatoes or the four or five potatoes I need to make a chicken stew. It is even more difficult to imagine what that chicken will cost when it is inside a freezer and can’t even be seen. Having to ask the vendor to dig out a chicken or weigh the tomatoes creates a feeling of obligation and means that consumers will sometimes walk away not knowing what a good deal they might have had because they don’t want to say “please show me your pork chops” and then “how much would that cost” before they can decide if they have enough money to make the purchase.
Some vendors will be able to improve price visibility now, and I expect that consumers will notice changes fairly soon but there are others who will not be able to resolve issues with product pricing visibility until we move into a permanent market location and they have the cases they need to properly display their clearly priced products. In the meantime, I hope that everyone will understand and that consumers will feel free to ask about prices and say “no thanks” if the price does not meet their budget or price expectations.
See you at the Market on Wednesday
Michele Greene is very excited to be the new market manager. Her recent completion of a Master of Arts in Sustainable Leisure Management from VIU fueled her passion for sustainability, food security, and creating community. Prior to working with Island Roots, Michele has worked with brain-injured clients, worked as an administrator at a preschool/daycare, and owned and operated a successful professional organizing company.
Michele has been living in Nanaimo almost 17 years. She is a mom, wife, and dog-lover, and is into gardening, fitness, volunteering, and simplicity.
At its first meeting in 2017 the Regional District of Nanaimo Board (RDN) voted to approve their staff recommendations, they are at page 40 and 97 of the RDN's Agenda (link below). The RDN will grant Island Roots $25,000 and RDN Staff will assist us with grant applications to other potential funding sources.
At its last meeting in 2016 the Regional District of Nanaimo Board (RDN) voted to support the Island Roots Market Co-op's Project at Beban Park and asked its staff to prepare a report on the specific ways the RDN can help. Their staff prepared 2 reports, they are at page 40 and 97 of the RDN's Agenda (link below) and will be dealt with by the Board on January 10 at 7 pm.
2016 was an exciting and successful year for the Island Roots Market Co-operative. We are working closely with the VIEx and Indigenous Peoples' Place of Culture. We have developed a plan which was well received when it was presented to the public at the Beban Park Open House in August.
Island Roots Market Co-operative is a registered community Co-operative in which anyone can purchase a share for a nominal fee. This means that the community, anyone who wants to participate, and no one person or small group of people stand to benefit from the profits the organization might make. Grantors that understand this usually accept it as the equivalent of not for profit. Our Beban Park project meets Revenue Canada's definition of a Charitable Purpose but we do not have charitable status so we can not issue tax receipts.