We are excited to announce a partnership with the City of Pittsburgh as part of their PGH Lab 3.0 cohort where we will be working to improve Pittsburgh farmers markets with our farmer-focused software and services. The PGH Lab program provides a platform where local startups use technology to make the City of Pittsburgh more efficient, sustainable, and inclusive. As part of this program, we aim to increase the value that farmers markets bring to Pittsburgh and improve the economics for farmers that participate in them.

Farmers markets have long been a reliable source of income for small and medium local farmers. They have served as outlets for local products and as the cornerstone of the relationship between an urban community and its local agriculture community. Recently, farmer’s markets have increased in popularity because of their ability to support local food economies and build local food relationships.

To improve a customer’s farmers market experience and to increase sales for vendors, we created the Cropolis local food platform where vendors can simply create professional emails with lists of food and an easy-to-use order form. When these emails are sent out to potential customers a few days before the market, they will see what foods that will be available to order for the market and be given a chance to order them before the market. Farmers market customers that order from farmers in advance gain the peace of mind that their high-quality order will be available when they arrive at the market. By allowing customers to know what to expect at a market, they can know what they can purchase directly from a farm instead of a farmer’s market. Ultimately, this lets and encourages customers to build an even stronger, more loyal relationship with their farms.

For vendors at farmers markets, it can establish a key stream of income from each market, sales that have happened before the market even opens. Further, the Cropolis local food platform simplifies the administrative formalities around online sales, handling various methods of payment and automatically sending out receipts for each order. For the farmer, reports summarizing sales into pick lists and pack lists make the process of preparing and accounting for your pre-market seamless.

We expect that farmers participating in our trial through PGH Labs will save hours of work each week while increasing their average volume and frequency of Pittsburgh farmers markets sales. If you or someone you know is interested in seeing if Cropolis can help with increasing farmers market sales, you can contact us to check eligibility.