Farmers Market proposed for Lygon St, Carlton
Rotary Club of Carlton and Swinburne’s Business Consulting Project Unit collaborate to explore the feasibility of a Farmers Market.
At Swinburne University of Technology, the Bachelor of Business Degree’s final year capstone unit, known as the Business Consulting Project, has a key objective: to equip students with valuable experience and skills in tackling real-world problem-solving projects. This is achieved through the integration of design thinking, experiential learning, and management consulting principles. In this unit, students work as management consultants in small multidisciplinary teams, tackling live problem-solving projects and feasibility studies. Through this hands-on experience, they gain practical knowledge and expertise, preparing them effectively for the challenges of the business world.
The Rotary Club of Carlton collaborated as an industry partner with the Business Consulting Project Unit during semester one of 2023. The project involved conducting a comprehensive feasibility study for establishing a Farmers Market in Carlton. Multidisciplinary student teams applied various management consultancy models, frameworks, and analytical tools that they learned in class to conduct extensive observations, stakeholder interviews, and industry research.
The suggested approach involves co-creating the Carlton Farmers Market by engaging customers, local business owners, community groups, and organisations like the Carlton Football Club, enriching the market experience for all visitors. To enhance the market’s visibility and reach, students designed localised posters and digital marketing campaigns targeting environmentally and socially conscious millennials as a core segment.
The recommendations from the student teams covered essential aspects of the Farmers Market project, including its focus, structure, target market, value proposition, layout optimisation, and venue.
Students recommended Argyle Garden at Lygon St as the ideal location for the market, featuring 60 to 160 stalls across 1.2 hectares. The proposed Farmers Market aims to create a boutique feel, emphasising sustainability-oriented organic food items, honey and pantry goods, and artisanal products mainly.
Operating monthly initially and later transitioning to fortnightly, the Farmers Market would cater to the experience economy concept while promoting environmental practices.
The Institute of Management Consultants awarded the Consultancy Excellence Award to the best consulting team. Their exceptional work included a layout optimisation plan presented through a digitally simulated video, along with suggestions for a seasonal strategy of food items and discounted contracts for stalls.
Prof. Milé Terziovski (Rotary Club of Carlton president) and Dr Chamindika Weerakoon are from the School of Business, Law, and Entrepreneurship at Swinburne University of Technology. •