Through farm to school procurement work, and partnerships with local restaurants, food aggregators and distributors, Market Umbrella proactively connects vendors to other sales opportunities within the food system, diversifying revenue streams and increasing sales for our vendors.
COVID transition to technology
WhatsGood, Quickbooks, Zoom, Venmo, etc.
In early 2020, Market Umbrella rapidly worked to transition many internal manual processes to electronic ones, as well as introduced new contactless sales mechanisms in the face of COVID, all of which used new technology or increased reliance on existing technology. Market Umbrella staff worked with vendors on offering trainings and one-on-one assistance to build proficiency with these new platforms.
From Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry’s Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) expert, to farm finance agents, small business bankers, New Orleans/USDA SCORE, quarterly vendor meetings are often a learning opportunity.
Collaborative effort with university partners LSU Ag Center and Southern University Ag to bring awareness to and host trainings such as Produce Safety Alliance (PSA) and Market Ready. Participate in Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education advisory body, to create relevant trainings for small scale food producers.
Sharing information with vendors on educational, financial, and relief opportunities from federal, state and local resources, FSA, USDA, community partners, other non-profits and philanthropies including providing assistance in supporting applications and connecting to application resources.
Production planning consultation
Market staff welcomes all vendors to consult on future crop and value-added product production planning, bringing expertise in seasonal crops that can be cultivated in our area, as well as helping to identify open market niches, understand specialty food trends, and providing market research.
CCFM vendors have access to an online portal which houses all resources that have been disseminated through meetings, emails, webinars, etc. into one home on our website. Trainings, one pagers, FAQs, resources can all be found there and accessed any time by vendors.
Market Umbrella is grateful for generous support from Hancock Whitney Bank for making this work possible.