Feasibility Study for a Farmer’s Market on Dalhousie Campus
Seif Elivajr, Karim
Greenland Smith, Simon
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This paper is designed to gauge student and faculty interest in a Dalhousie Farmer’s Market. Farmers markets are beneficial because they can help reduce food mileage, help support local economy, and provide students and faculty members with fresh locally grown produce. Through the use of a non-probabilistic survey student and faculty interest in a Dalhousie Farmer’s Market was measured. The results of the online survey were fairly conclusive as 129 people responded. This was above the desired level of 100 respondents. The survey was aimed at students and faculty who had attended another farmers market in the past. The survey was distributed using a “snowball” effect. It was sent to members the ENVS 3502 class and other Dalhousie students and faculty. These people were asked to complete the survey and send it to others who have visited the farmers markets in the past. Thus the “snowball” effect was complete and brought in a total of 129 respondents. Limitations faced during this report included time constraints, survey distribution constraints, and respondent bias constraints. The time constraints were set out by the course outline. We had four months to complete all the necessary research. The survey was distributed online which would have prevented those without internet access from responding. The survey was also sent to a number of students in the ENVS 3502 class. The students in this class may have a bias because by enrolling in a sustainability class these students are likely to have a greater interest in farmer’s markets and local produce than the average respondent. The delimitation faced was the need to reduce the scope of research. It was initially designed to include economic feasibility as well as stakeholder interest. However, this was deemed to be too much information and the focus was set on gauging stakeholder interest. There was initially an effort to include community respondents in the survey, but this was deemed to be too difficult and the focus was only on students and faculty. The respondents gave fairly clear results on a number of topics regarding a potential Dalhousie Farmer’s Market. The largest number of respondents fell into the 18-29 age group, which represented 78% of all respondents. The respondents were somewhat divided on which day they preferred for a Dalhousie Farmer’s Market. However, two days came out as the obvious favourites. Friday received 28% of the respondents vote and Sunday received 27 % of the respondents vote. The majority of respondents wanted the market in the afternoon instead of the morning. For the next section of the survey respondents were given a list and told to rate each item as “not important”, “somewhat important”, “important”, or “very important”. The results were tallied and the most important factors in the eyes of respondents were local produce, local dairy including eggs, and organic produce respectively. The survey also included some written response questions that were hard to quantify, but did help provide some insight. Overall the response was quite positive and there is a good chance for a Dalhousie Farmer’s Market to be successful. Using the research from this project in conjunction with future economic feasibility research the Dalhousie Farmer’s Market can become a reality.