OFA members receive discount to start online farm store
By Stephanie Gordon
Members with the Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA) can receive a 30-day free trial and 20 per cent off their first-year subscription to Local Line, an online platform that allows farmers to sell directly to consumers.
As many Canadians are in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, several businesses have had to adapt their operations to facilitate social distancing and increase sanitation measures to help limit the spread of the virus.
For some businesses, this means developing an online presence. OFA members can receive a 30-day free trial to Local Line, and 20 per cent off their first-year subscription, in addition to a free website builder, free account set-up and free Quickbooks integration. To access this benefit, members have to enter their OFA number in the referral code box.
Local Line has created The Direct Market Farmer’s Guide to COVID-19 to help new and existing users learn how to position their business, get their virtual storefront ready and set up delivery.
In British Columbia, there is also support for farmers looking to get online. The B.C. government is providing $55,000 to the B.C. Association of Farmers’ Markets to cover fees for individual farmers markets to join the online platform, BC Farmers’ Markets Online, and set up their digital market store presence.
The Ontario Federation of Agriculture also lists other options for how farms can continue to sell their products:
- Direct farm gate sales, using the above preventative measures.
- Online sales for farm-gate pick-up or delivery.
- Partner with other local businesses to offer a local box delivery.
- Partner with local restaurants who still offer food delivery services and takeout.
OFA also mentions that if your business has surplus food, to consider donating to a local food bank or community food program. This option may make you eligible to claim an income tax credit.
For the full OFA resource, A Guide for Direct Sales to Consumers during COVID-19 and Beyond, access it online.