Whether at the local or industrial scale, agriculture has always benefited from technological developments, so it's no surprise that money counters give vendors at farmers markets the chance to take their operations to the next level of efficiency.
It's not hard to see the impact the recent interest in local produce and sustainable farming has had on cities across the U.S. The Farmers Market Coalition cited data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture that found more than 150,000 food producers around the country now make more than $1.5 billion in collective sales thanks to the spread and growing popularity of farmers markets.
With that explosion of interest has come a gradual shift in both the demographics of attendance at these community events and in how vendors attract a diversifying array of consumer interests. The Washington Post reported on the impact of these changes at the DuPont Circle FreshFarm Market in Washington, D.C. The publication revealed that what used to be a central focus on fresh produce and ingredients has now shifted to more meal-oriented offerings and social opportunities. This evolution has put the pressure on vendors to change up the kinds of goods they bring to the market each week - especially as sales risk taking a major hit.
"I'm bullish on them being part of the business plan," Hana Newcomb, co-owner of Potomac Vegetable Farms in Virginia, told the newspaper, referring to farmers markets in general. "But I think a diversified market is the only way that farmers are going to make it."
Local food producers that successfully adapt to these changes at farmers markets across the U.S. can expect unique challenges as a result. With the ability to attract more consumers, it's likely these vendors will receive larger sums of cash throughout the day, thus complicating the after-hours process of tallying cash and keeping track of the bottom line.
Automated cash counters substantially reduce the time it takes to perform this critical task. The result is that farmers then have more time to brainstorm and strategize new opportunities to come to next week's market with the next best thing that will attract local shoppers.
July 29, 2016