SDG – Spring signals the beginning of farmers market season in the United Counties of SDG, and the tradition will continue this year with the launch of a new online option.
The Eastern Ontario Agri-Food Network (EOAN) is preparing to open the region’s first virtual farmers market in collaboration with the City of Cornwall, United Counties of Stormont, Dundas, and Glengarry, United Counties of Prescott Russell, and several local farmers markets.
“We know residents across the region are looking to buy local food and support our many local producers,” said Alain D’Aoust, coordinator for the Eastern Ontario Agri-food Network. “By developing the virtual farmers market, coordinating local distribution to consumers, and promoting on behalf of all vendors, we believe this effort will be a win-win for everyone.”
The virtual farmers market is being developed using Local Line, a uniquely designed e-commerce tool for producers and agri-food vendors. The new website will feature a unique online store for each vendor, as well as a shared market store offering products from all 100 vendors. Consumers will be able to buy from any number of vendors at once, select the preferred delivery option, and pay online using a single point check-out. The software will immediately notify the vendor of the sale, identify the delivery point, and transfer the payment automatically.
“We wanted to make it as easy as possible for everyone,” said D’Aoust. “Consumers will be able to order from a full catalogue of products, manage their delivery options, and easily pay online.”
The EOAN plans to waive the monthly administrative fee from now until September.
“Thanks to sponsorship from local partners and surplus funds from last year’s Eastern Ontario Local Food Conference, we are able to focus our time on getting local producers online before the summer season without presenting any additional cost to their bottom line” said D’Aoust.
The formal vendor application will open at www.agro-on.ca on Tuesday, May 19.