In Alberta, the scope of both the problems and the potential contributions of small-scale food processors remains relatively unknown. To help fill the information void, the Canada West Foundation undertook a survey of farmers’ market vendors. The survey looked at the characteristics of small-scale processors, the challenges they face and the resources at hand to help them grow.
A survey of vendors at the following five farmers’ markets was conducted by K. Polturak Management & Consulting Inc. in November and December 2016:
• Old Strathcona Farmers’ Market (Edmonton)
• City Market Downtown (Edmonton)
• Crossroads Market (Calgary)
• Calgary Farmers’ Market
• Symons Valley Ranch Farmers Market (Calgary)
Of the 100 business owners contacted, 26 completed the survey. Due to the low response rate, several processors from K. Polturak Management and Consulting Inc.’s database who sell at markets predominately in northeastern Alberta were added to the results. Personal contact was made at the markets, with email and telephone follow-ups. While some vendors completed the survey on site, the majority of respondents completed the survey away from the market, and faxed or emailed their response. Three completed surveys had two responses for numerous questions.