SUMMER 2010 NEWSLETTER
Many of you have asked about insurance, so we have been exploring issue, and in particular, to get some advice on what the minimum coverage markets should have, and what opportunities there might be to negotiate a "block' contract, if we can collaborate over purchasing cover.
The professional advice seems to be that we all need to have:
- Employers' Liability: This must cover volunteer workers as well as paid workers. Market organisers are classified as employees of the market (i.e. not the village hall, church etc) so every market is considered an employer.
- Property Cover: All property owned/used by the market (excluding equipment owned by stallholders) must be covered. This includes gazebos, tables/stalls and all roadside signs and banners.
- Public Liability: each market (as well as each stallholder) must be covered for damage/personal injury caused by the market, i.e. a stall falling over and injuring someone; damage to cars if a banner blew on to the road etc.
We have been told that in many cases these items may not be included in insurance covering the building in which the market operates, nor explicitly included in an umbrella organisation's policy, which many of us rely on (ie, parish council, village hall or other community group).
We think it would be prudent for each of us to check our current insurance cover. In particular to confirm that you are covered for the above items relating to the market's operation, or whether there are some restrictions. For example, some policies may not extend to activities unrelated to the umbrella organisation's primary objectives or its location, such as market banners erected away from the village hall. To be clear, we should all have written confirmation from our present insurer that we are covered for the three areas above, and to be aware of any restrictions or exclusions.
On a more positive note, Bob has investigated costs of a collective insurance policy for our markets in Kent, (excluding the council operated markets, which we assume are adequately covered), and we are now in discussions with NFU Mutual about a collective contract to cover all markets for the three categories mentioned above. NFU have indicated an outline cost of approx £60-£100 per market per
year, to cover property damage, public liability (up to £5m) and employers' liability (up to £10m). This is based on covering a thousand days of collective market operations per year, and ideally a single start and finish date for all markets' policies.
However, the final price will be dependant upon how many markets opt in, and it is obviously in our interests to get as low a price as possible. We would like to be in a good negotiating position by the end of July if possible. So, what would be really helpful to us would be the following information on each market:
- Some brief information on how your current insurance is arranged, e.g. through the parish council or village hall or your own policy.
- Which insurance company provides it?
- How much does it cost you?
- Does it provide cover in the three areas described earlier?
- What is the policy renewal date?
- Are you likely to be interested in principle, in a policy costing £60-£120?
Once we have this information, we will then assess whether it is worthwhile to have a more serious discussion with the NFU. It is also possible that where you already have cover with the NFU and it has some months to run, they will negotiate locally with the branch to absorb the details into any "master contract' and reach agreement with us on the financial benefits of doing so.
We will obviously report back to you prior to any commitments being made, and we are conscious of the fact that some of you will need to take this through your local groups for consideration. We believe it is a good opportunity to save money. For example, Wye Farmers'
Market has just had its renewal quote from the NFU at over £500!
Of course, none of this detracts from the need for all stallholders to have their own insurance, and we would recommend that managers have an annual check of all stallholders' policies as part of their due diligence.
We have prepared a Business Plan for 2009-12, which includes the projects we will be trying to get funding for. This is now on the KFMA website, under Media Centre and then Latest News. Please let us have any comments. It will also be discussed the next time we all get together.
The projects include:
This project is looking at different ways we can introduce alternative payment systems into markets. We will be testing out a variety of options to find what approach is most suitable in different circumstances. This might include selling gift vouchers or a shared chip and pin machine. Anyone interested in being involved in the trials - which are fully funded - please let us know. Evidence in Kent shows that allowing electronic payment significantly increases sales, and we just need to work out how to do this efficiently and without too much hassle, and with no significant increase in prices. This is being funded by Kent County Council.
Seasonal Event Packs
We are also bidding for a project will allow us devise a series of event packs. We all know special events, like Apple Days, are great at maintaining interest in the market, but also all know they take a lot of organisation, as well as imagination. Our aim is to produce some packs we can share, including information boards, recipe cards, children's activities, ideas for cookery demonstrations, press releases, banners etc. If we are successful, we will naturally want to build on experience, so we will be asking for everyone to pool ideas from previous events. The bid
includes funding for a couple of events at each market, so keep your fingers crossed.
We are just completing the planning for the pilot of the "Healthchecks' for markets. Using a technique developed nationally, these evaluate footfall and sales, asks where shoppers come from and gathers their feedback. We hope to run this on the basis of clusters of 5 local markets, which again will help us share our experiences. We have an ambition to develop a broader process, for example, to include consumer research and to develop a checklist for managers, and we are meeting SEEDA (our regional development agency) in July to talking about funding options.
Kent on Saturday and Sunday
Thanks to Produced in Kent, we have been included in KOS Media's Local Food Supplement, which will be included with all Kent on Saturday and Kent on Sunday newspapers on 21/22 June. This has a circulation of 400,000, so is a great opportunity to encourage people to try their local markets.
The updated KFMA brochure is about to go to print, and it will then be distributed through libraries, tourist information centres etc. If you would like copies, please let us know. Thanks again to Produced in Kent who have contributed significantly to the costs.
Produced in Kent Newsletter