Workplace to Market

“This program has helped me realize all the fresh goodness our local farmers offer year round!!”

Rhonda, Employee at City of Bangor, first-time shopper in 2019

Reward employees, Strengthen Farms, Nourish our communities

The project

We plan to have more than 80 employers across Maine sign on to support local farms and small businesses. Employers will use funds from their Workplace Wellness or employee appreciation budgets to help steer their employees to healthy eating choices at farmers’ markets.

The task is simple – give their employees incentives to shop at local farmers’ markets. As a result, more than 10,000 people will shop at farmers’ markets because of this campaign. By our estimates, more than half of them will be new shoppers.

This project provides people with risk-free opportunities to patronize their local market.

By doing so, shoppers will get a first-hand experience of the:

  • Abundance and diversity of food offerings
  • High quality and fresh produce, baked goods, and other products
  • Entertainment – including kids’ programs and music
  • Community mission – feeding people with low-income and cultivating new relationships among fellow Mainers

Incentives?

Incentives are at the crux of this project. Employers will provide employees incentives to shop at the market. Incentives will likely fall into one of 2 categories:

  • Gift cards or certificates (PREFERRED)- Gift cards or vouchers with cash value that are only redeemable at farmers’ markets for real food. Some employers may choose to give their employees $5 per month, for 3 months. Other employers, like the City of Bangor, may provide $20 in July and $20 in September. It’s up to each employer to decide, and we’re happy to provide tips for best practices.
  • Raffle or Prizes – Employers may also offer entry into a raffle for employees who visit a farmers’ market, or provide some other reward for that behavior. This option is for employers with limited resources. Again, it’s up to each employer to decide what the raffle prizes are and how the raffle should be structured. We’re happy to help figure this out with each employer.

Want to join?

First, click a link below:

Information for employers

Contact director@mffm.org with any questions about our program.

Workplace to Market is a joint-project of the Maine Federation of Farmers’ Markets and the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association.