On Sunday the Grey Lynn Farmers Market celebrated its fourth birthday and we held our AGM over a lunch of delicious market food.
Here is my Chair’s report for 2013 (the end of my third year as Chair)
Thank you for all coming along. I would like to take this opportunity to reflect on the last 12 months and to give thanks to everyone who is part of our market.
At the end of last year the committee took part in a strategy session with Suzanne Kendrick to think about the long term direction of the market. We discussed:
the strengths of the market – the great community feel, the strong values base:
And of course no strategy session would be complete without reflecting on the weaknesses and threats to the market – our limited marketing budget, the perception we are too expensive, boutique and the increased competition from other food options and destinations in the local area
But we came away in good heart confirming our commitment to our core aim of providing fresh, local produce for our community. We also confirmed the non- negotiable principles that keep us on course and are our point of difference.
local produce prioritised
ethical produce prioritised (free range, organic, GMO free)
community run market
collaborative decision making by committee
being a hub for the community
and a commitment to sustainability (waste minimisation)
We set priorities for this year with the most important being to attract more new customers from the local area and have customers stay longer at the market. We set ourselves the goal of more marketing and providing more activities and reasons to come to the market. Sarah has outlined in her report the many achievements and results from over the last year.
It is the unique qualities of the market that make it special for me personally and the reason why I keep coming back (and yes to stand again for the committee).
I’d like to acknowledge and thank all those who are committed to the market and keep us running.
Charlotte as the market manager until the end of 2012 before leaving us to have market baby Gabriel ticked off significant milestones that I was able to report on at the AGM last year eg opening on a Sunday, a new website and getting EFTPOS at the market. Fortunately for us Charlotte remains in the market family on the committee with Ben very much in support.
She handed the reins over to Sarah at the beginning of this year. Because of the strong foundations I think Sarah was able to hit the ground running and build on the strengths of the market. Sarah is doing fantastic work managing the market with steady determination, integrity and sense of purpose.
I’m fortunate to work with a fantastic committee who all contribute so much and best of all are all standing again! Susanna – our secretary who rejoined us during the year, Maggie, Caroline, Javier, Donald (our amazing Treasurer) and Rebekah our stall holder representative. And I acknowledge Rachel who left us during the year to go to Melbourne. A big thank you to all the committee members who work for the market as volunteers.
Central to the market are of course the Stallholders. It is great to have here at the AGM–Lynn and Carol (foundation stallholders), new stallholder Anita and Griff who “owns” the lobby with his massage chair. Without you the market wouldn’t happen.
We totally appreciate there is always more to do to get the perfect mix of stallholders and increase customers coming to the market. Thanks to all the support from stallholders in working towards this goal.
We have very generous sponsors who I would like to acknowledge – Ripe Deli has been a sponsor right from the beginning and has just signed up for another year. Nature Baby came on board during the year to keep story time going (not just for kids). GLBA are just ending a year of sponsorship but looking at a new arrangement. We are fortunate to benefit from significant collaboration between all the Grey Lynn groups
I’d like to do a big shout out to our generous supporters – Martin Leach at Ponsonby News, Ben for his work on our refreshed logo, Suzanne Kendrick who guided us through our strategy session, Jason for use of the law centre carpark on a monthly basis in exchange for a donation to Gardens to Table; the many presenters at workshops , Grey Lynn 2030 waste away team who have a stall each week at the market, the supporters of the Community Trading table, the Grey Lynn Community Centre (represented today by Peter) . We are fortunate to have developed a special partnership with the centre as the market location.
Many thanks to our “Friends” of the market who provide vital financial support. The Friends scheme has been growing with the support of stallholders able to offer generous specials. I’d like to thank everyone who continues to support the market through membership to the Friends scheme.
And finally I would like to acknowledge the “founders”. Those members of our community who decided in late 2008, at one of the first GL2030 meetings, that Grey Lynn needed a farmers market with a vision of providing the community with access to fresh, local produce in a unique, vibrant inner-city location.
I still feel excited about the market. It is the place I want to visit on a Sunday morning and where I want to do my shopping. After our strategy session and reflecting on where we are now I am even more convinced that what we are doing is relevant and vital . I hope you will join me in committing to another year of ensuring the market provides great value, fresh, healthy seasonal produce to our community and that we are always ethical, sustainable, local, friendly, welcoming and a bustle of activity.