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Manager Perspectives on Implementation of a Farmers’ Market Incentive Program in Maryland

May 06, 2019
Journal of Nutrition Education and Behaviour

Amelie A. Hecht, Caitlin Misiaszek, Gabby Headrick, Shelley Brosius, Amy Crone, Pamela J. Surkan

A growing number of farmers’ markets offer incentive programs to increase access to fresh produce in low-income communities and support local farmers, yet program implementation has not been widely studied. This qualitative study explored market manager perspectives on implementing a Maryland statewide farmers’ market incentive program.

Semistructured interviews with market managers.

Participating farmers’ markets across Maryland.

Managers of participating farmers’ markets (n = 19).

Phenomenon of Interest
Barriers and facilitators to program implementation and recommendations for improvement.

Interviews were analyzed using a phronetic iterative approach and themes were organized using an adapted version of a multilevel implementation framework.

Managers reported overall favorable attitudes toward the incentive program. They identified barriers to implementation such as vendor buy-in and funding uncertainties, facilitators such as private fund-raising and local champions, and opportunities for improvement such as strengthening promotion and increasing the use of technology to reduce the data collection burden.

Conclusions and Implications
Managers identified implementation barriers (eg, customer confusion) and facilitators (eg, ease of staff training) that may be shared by other incentive programs. Based on these findings, barriers and recommendations may be addressed through collaborative problem-solving with managers, vendors, and customers, and facilitators can be amplified broadly. Future research is warranted to explore incentive program implementation in other settings.

Read the related brief.