Adding up PCFMA's Impact in 2018
This time of year seems to be full of top 10 lists. Each year ends with a litany of top 10 memories only to be followed up by an equal number of top 10 predictions. While I risk being considered an underachiever for crafting a list with only five items, I did want to share five numbers from 2018 that are meaningful to us as PCFMA leaps into 2019:
- 2,217: Last year PCFMA operated 53 farmers’ markets in the San Francisco Bay Area; 25 of those markets were open year-round while 28 were open seasonally. We also operated two one-day farmers’ markets to support our community partners and promote our farmers’ markets. All together, we had 2,217 individual farmers’ market days of operation in 2018.
- 2,252,949: Last year our farmers’ markets served over 2.2 million customers across all of their days of operation. Our busiest day was Saturday, August 25 when we served over 23,600 customers at 15 farmers’ markets. Our slowest day was Tuesday, March 11 when heavy rain and winds discouraged shoppers from coming out for the three farmers’ markets we operated that day. But we are thankful to the 339 shoppers who did show up that day to support our farmers.
- 9,193,365: We estimate that over the course of 2018, we had over 9 million individual engagements with our customers and potential customers through our marketing efforts. Our top three marketing vehicles were print advertising with 3.3 million views, articles written by PCFMA staff published in print and online with 2.1 million views, and social media with 1.8 million views.
- 5,021: Between January and December 2018, we added over 5,000 new fans to the 33 Facebook pages that we maintain to promote and support our farmers’ markets. Our Vacaville Farmers’ Market saw the largest rate of increase at 23.7% while our Brentwood Farmers’ Market saw the largest total increase, adding 589 new Facebook fans last year.
- 478: While this is the smallest number I have chosen to share; it is the most important. Last year PCFMA provided 478 small businesses the opportunity to sell their products within PCFMA’s farmers’ markets. This number includes 247 farmers, 203 food producers and 28 artisans. We are proud that these businesses have put their trust in us and we work hard every day to help create farmers’ markets in which they can be successful, not just for a day, but over the long term.
We are hard at work on goals for 2019 to meet or exceed most of these figures from last year. Our highest priority goals are to broaden even further our marketing reach in order to increase customer visits to our farmers’ markets. That means even more work to better leverage new communication tools of social media and text messaging as well as old-fashioned direct mail with postcards to our most loyal customers.
Whatever your goals are for the new year, I hope they include regular purchases of fresh and healthy food from your local farmers and I wish the best of luck in your pursuit of those goals. Welcome to 2019!