Waccamaw Market Season 2013
Market Season is upon us once again and 2013 will feature distinct Waccamaw Market Cooperative sponsored markets in Conway, North Myrtle Beach and Myrtle Beach, bringing you the freshest local/regional fruits and veggies that your money can buy. Our slogan "fruits, vegetables, gossip" eludes to, the fact that our markets are more than just local retail venues, they are experiences in and of themselves. Come out, meet you friends and neighbors, talk with local farmers, learn gardening techniques from Clemson Master Gardeners, enjoy entertainment and special events, make it a routine experience. Indeed, each time you make the decision to visit one our markets in Conway, Myrtle Beach, and North Myrtle Beach, you are making a decision that has a positive impact on our local economy. Don't believe it, take it a look at some of the 2012 or 2011 market impact studies linked here on the WMC site. Together, we are building g a local food economy from the ground up...quite literally. We are proud of our program to date and honored by the support that our markets generated throughout Horry County. Thank You! See ya'll at the market.
The Waccamaw Market Cooperative (WMC) is an incorporated 501c nonprofit organization responsible for coordinating and managing community based farmer's market throughout Horry County. Under the guidance of the Clemson Cooperative Extension, WMC has grown to include regional network of markets sponsored in partnership with public and private organizations in numerous location throughout the county. The resulting structured market network ensures that virtually all communities in Horry County benefit from access to fresh fruits and vegetables that farmer's markets offer.
Public markets are not just places of commerce. Successful markets help grow and connect urban and rural economies. They encourage development, enhance real estate values and the tax base, and keep money in the local neighborhood. Public markets also offer low-risk business opportunities for vendors and feed money back into the rural economy where many vendors grow, raise and produce their products.
The spin-off benefits of markets are numerous. From increasing access to fresh, healthy food to providing important revenue streams, markets positively impact local businesses, governments and residents. But, perhaps most important is the way markets serve as public gathering places for people from different ethnic, cultural, and socioeconomic communities. As one of the few places where people comfortably gather and meet, markets are our neighborhoods' original civic centers.
How do vendors participate in WMC market activities?
Vendor members of the Waccamaw Market Cooperative are allowed to participate in any market activity sponsored by WMC subject to agreement with applicable guidelines. Uniform guidelines and fee structure ensure that vendors are able to plan for participation in any or all market locations without the need to adhere to variable standards.
Members pay a one-time yearly membership fee of $35.00 that goes towards their share of the General Liability Policy maintained by the organization. Vendors then pay a daily stall fee dependent upon the number of days they participate in the market. See 2013 Vendor Information Packet for the fee schedule. Vendors are allowed to pay a "permanent vendor" rate in advance of market activities or are allowed or pay a "temporary vendor" rate the day of participation. All proceeds generated from vendor fees are utilized for support of market advertising functions.
What are the advantages of membership in the Waccamaw Market Cooperative?
Vendor members of the Waccamaw Market Cooperative benefit from the managed market activities that would not be possible were it not for pooled resources generated through the Cooperative framework. All of the resources generated through market fees and sponsorships are directly allocated to onsite management, equipment, and advertising functions of the market. By pooling resources from multiple locations, WMC markets are able to pursue a consolidated marketing/ branding strategy that would be significantly diminished if each market functioned in isolation from the others.
In addition WMC markets benefit from coordinated operations that attempt to ensure that market dates, times, and locations do not overlap in a manner that results in the markets competing with one another. Such coordination is not only good for vendors (both farmers and artisans) but also market consumers who can count of participating in a unique, high quality experience on multiple days of the week throughout the County.
What is the Waccamaw Grown Program?
Farmer member of WMC are eligible to participate in the Waccamaw Grown program that helps brand and identify their products as local for the benefit of the consumer. Together with the Certified SC Grown Program sponsored by the SC Department of Agriculture, participants in WMC markets can be sure that they are buying the freshest the local fruits and vegetables that money can buy.
The Waccamaw Grown(tm) program of the Waccamaw Market Cooperative (WMC) certifies food and agricultural products grown or raised on farms in the Waccamaw and Pee Dee Regions. Displayed with food and farm products, the Waccamaw Grown label helps consumers, retailers, and wholesalers better distinguish and identify local agricultural products.
For the 2013 growing season, participation in the program is free. Waccamaw Grown certified producers and sellers can get Waccamaw Grown labels and promotional materials.
The Waccamaw Grown(tm) label is a trademark of Waccamaw Market Cooperative; to protect the integrity of the label and the local food market, local producers must meet particular standards and agree to comply with logo-use restrictions. The standards and restrictions are meant to protect the label; the Waccamaw Grown label may only be used to represent food and agricultural products grown or raised by certified Waccamaw and Pee Dee Region farms.
What are the goals of the program?
In its mission to support Waccamaw and Pee Dee Region farms and rebuild a community-based food system, WMC developed the Waccamaw Grown program to expand local markets for regional farms and to provide a way the public can easily identify products from local farms.
Who can participate in the program?
The Waccamaw Grown program incorporates Waccamaw and Pee Dee farmers, retailers of local food and farm products, and consumers. Buy Waccamaw Grown and brand your products.