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|Articles - May 2010|
|Friday, April 16, 2010|
Farmers market managers say that while the growing season is just beginning to blossom, a wider variety of shoppers are popping up in local markets and vendors are adapting to changing customer needs, including smaller paychecks.
“It’s actually been OK,” says Eamon Molloy, manager of the Hillsdale Farmers Market. “Like everyone else, we do feel the recession. But by and large, farmers, the ones who grow the basic things we eat, are doing fine.”
Alongside the foodies and local chefs, market managers saw an increasing number of people using farmers markets for their weekly shopping in 2009, including food stamp users. Managers think this will continue this year.
Ann Forsthoefel, executive director of the Portland Farmers Market, says the market’s opening day on March 20 had the highest token sales in the market’s history. Food stamp customers use their Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program cards to purchase tokens to use in lieu of cash for their market purchases.
Last June Molloy noticed token purchases fell 40% in between pay periods, while customer counts remained solid. Customers continued shopping at the Hillsdale market, spending their money on fruit and vegetables instead of pastries and meat.
Some of the Hillsdale vendors scaled back their prepared food inventory in the middle of the month to absorb customers’ decreased purchases. Molloy thinks markets will see more of this during the height of the 2010 market season.
“We’re probably going to see a continued trend toward people buying less prepared food and learning to make their own,” he says.
Agricultural production decreased 14% from 2008 to 2009 according to Larry Lev, a marketing economist with Oregon State University’s Extension Services.
However, his research shows farmers market sales generally remained stable throughout the state, something he attributes to a committed customer base.
“Overall, most markets held their own,” he says, noting many markets saw gains in attendance if not in sales. “That’s good in a bad year.”
Thursday, December 11, 2014
BY JACOB PALMER | OB DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR
We ask business and nonprofit leaders how they survive the season.
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A look-in on the life of Norris & Stevens' president.
Friday, October 24, 2014
A majority of respondents agreed: Local vineyards should remain Oregon-owned and quality is the most important factor when determining where to eat or buy groceries.
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
BY JOE ROJAS-BURKE
Bans on genetically modified crops create uncertainty for farmers.
Thursday, December 11, 2014
There’s a fascinating article in the December issue of the Harvard Business Review about a profound power shift taking place in business and society. It’s a long read, but the gist revolves around the tension between “old power” and “new power” as a driver of transformation. Here’s an excerpt:
The authors, Henry Timms and Jeremy Heimans, don’t necessarily favor one form of power over another but merely outline how power is transitioning, and how companies can take advantage of these changes to strengthen their positions in the marketplace.
Our Powerbook issue might be viewed as a case study in the new-power transition. This annual book of lists provides information on leading businesses, nonprofits and universities in the state. Most of the featured companies are entrenched power players now pursuing more flexible and less hierarchical approaches to doing business. Law firms, for example, are adopting new technologies and fee structures to make legal services more accessible and affordable.
This month we also take a look at a controversial new U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission rule requiring public companies to disclose the median pay of workers, as well as the ratio between CEO and median-worker pay.
Part of the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial reform law, the rule will compel public companies to be more open about employee compensation, with the assumption that greater transparency will improve corporate performance and, perhaps, help address one of the major challenges of our time: income inequality.
New power is not only about strategy and tactics, the Harvard Business Review authors say. “The ultimate questions are ethical. The big question is whether new power can genuinely serve the common good and confront society’s most intractable problems.”
That sounds like a call to arms. Or a New Year’s resolution. Old power or new, the goals are the same: to be a force for positive change in the world. Happy 2015!
Thursday, December 18, 2014
2014 was a year of wild contradictions, fast-paced growth and unexpected revelations.
Sunday, December 07, 2014
BY LINDA BAKER
On Friday, Uber switched on an app — and with one push of the button torpedoed Portland’s famed public process.
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