New co-marketing tool for farms could help you this season

Everyone is worried about what will happen to farmers' markets this season. Will they run? Will they run but differently? Will people come?

REKO rings provide an alternative tool for farms to consider when planning right now for the next few months. The involve less face-to-face contact and more control for farms.

The REKO model is a simple, no-cost and very efficient approach to co-marketing that has been used for years in Finland and generates many millions of dollars in sales annually. Recently it has been picked up in Northumberland County by four groups. Campbellford is underway and Belleville, Brighton and Bowmanville are just about to start. 

1. It can be used by any group of farmers - whether they are already a "market" or whether they just want to work together. They form a REKO and name it.

2. They use a Facebook page as the co-marketing tool (help is available to set up your page). They post what they have to sell right then.

3. Customers place orders in the way that the farm has requested.

4. Farms pack their own orders at the farm, and accept payment however they want.

5. The REKO members set a date, time and place for a "pickup". It can be weekly or bi-weekly - whatever the farmers want.

6. Customers order from as many of the farms in the REKO as they want.

7. Customers arrive at the REKO pickup point at an appointed timeframe (usually 1-2 hours, but can be determined by the REKO) and pick up their pre-packed orders from all of the farms they ordered from at the same time (using social distancing and other safeguards that have been approved by Public Health in Northumberland to date. This approval could be pursued in other counties as well).

8. Customers leave with their orders, and order again next time if desired. Customers can follow multiple REKOs if they want.

9. CSAs could also use the REKO as a drop-off point.

10. In Peterborough, REKO posts can be boosted shared using @localfoodptbo social media in order to get maximum attention.

Here are resources for you to look at:

REKO Canada website  including a Start Your Own REKO guide. Read this!

New REKO Facebook page which you can join to ask questions and discussYour Farmer’s Market / Reko   Start by joining this group where you can ask questions of Nadia Simard, the volunteer who has so far been coordinating this in Northumberland. She is ready to help you set up. 

Videos of farmers: