We’re getting ready to kick off the 2018 Oxford Fresh Farmgate Signage project.
Rural Oxford Economic Development submitted a successful application to Community Futures to increase awareness of farms in Zorra Township that are selling direct to consumers. This one year project will coordinate a laneway signage program for farm gate, test way-finding signage and increase awareness of where to shop locally through a marketing campaign. If this program is successful, aspects of it will be considered to roll-out across Oxford County.
Oxford Fresh Entrance Sign Program:
The purpose of this program is assist more farm gate in having an entrance sign at their property. All signs will also have a unified look making it easy for people to recognize it is a farm gate business. The signs will help advertise your business but also help people find you when driving to your location.
This program is focusing on smaller farms primarily selling what they grow. As these are typically smaller operations people can use some guidance on where to go on the property. Drive up your laneway with a fresh set of eyes. How many doors or buildings could people approach, where do they park, how can they tell if you are open for business, once inside how can they pay? Helping them find their way onto and through your property is your first step in welcoming them. Therefore each farm participating in this signage program must meet the following basic requirements for customer service.
- Farms must be selling what they grow. They can have up to 6 items from other Ontario farms also for sale but they must be signed stating where they are from. We encourage farms to use this opportunity to tell the local food story of these items (e.g. farm name, town/region, is it a relatives farm, is it a farm that buys from you or sells your product)
- Have signage installed indicating:
- Retail shop entrance (e.g. on the doorway)
- If regular hours are held, a sign at the entrance indicating open or closed and what regular hours are
- Identifying where to park
- If by appointment: you need signage at the entrance saying this and providing a phone number or website for people to connect with you. You may want to consider including this text on your road sign as well.
- Display the Oxford Fresh maps in your retail space. By sharing this map of other local producers we grow stronger together promoting nearby shops people can visit.