A major component of this project is the sale of produce and generation of revenue for low income workers. Stephen Lamb has expressed interest in selling to local restaurants and delis. Through background research of case studies, the team has explored further marketing options and strategies. From the research, as well as input from Stephen Lamb, the project team has identified potential markets for the sale of the produce. These potential markets can be put into three main groups, restaurants and delis, schools and churches, and building occupants. The team also needs to market the project to building owners in order to acquire additional rooftop gardening sites.

Restaurants and Delis

Stephen Lamb has expressed interest in selling to local restaurants and delis in the Central Business District. Therefore, restaurant and deli owners are the primary consumer targets. The team will contact the owners and ask them a series of questions, outlined in the Interview Plan in section 6.2.3.  The project team will use the feedback to adapt the project and marketing to better attract local this market.

  Schools and Churches

From background research, the team has identified local schools and churches as another potential market. Harvest of Hope has had success selling their boxed vegetables at local schools. Churches are usually involved with assisting the poor and less fortunate; the team may be able to use the story of the project and of the low income workers’ to market the produce to the local churches.

  Building Occupants

The people occupying the building will have multiple roles in this project, including potential consumers. They may have interest in the produce because of its convenience and the story behind it. The team could use the feedback from these people to develop a business pitch to other building owners. If they give positive feedback other building owners would be more apt to allow a rooftop garden to be built on their rooftop.

  Building Owners

The consent of building owners is necessary for the expansion of this project onto additional rooftops throughout the Central Business District. The team can identify the ideal rooftops for gardening, but need permission of the owners to move forward. The team will need to market the project and the benefits to the building owners of potential rooftop garden sites.

Marketing Strategies

Marketing is a crucial factor for the success of this project. Stephen Lamb would like to implement a direct marketing model where producers sell directly to consumers, eliminating the need for a “middle man” and maximizing profit.


The advantage of using the vegetable box scheme as trading tool is that it stabilizes the market demand and income for the micro-farmers. Instead of worrying about selling the produce in markets every day, farmers focus on producing quality food. For this project, the vegetable box scheme, employed by Harvest of Hope, is a potential marketing strategy. Since the rooftop garden is a smaller scale than the Harvest of Hope (HoH) farms, modifications would have to be made in order to make the vegetable box scheme work for this project. Only one or two types of vegetables may be produced at a time, reducing the variety of produce in the box. Seasonal produce will be grown on the rooftops, providing variety between seasons. This marketing approach may be better implemented in the long term. Once additional rooftop gardens are established in the Central Business District, each rooftop garden could be used to produce a different type of vegetable. The produce could be collected from all rooftops creating greater variety in the vegetable boxes. Once multiple rooftop gardens are established, a transportation team similar to that of HoH, will be established to collect and distribute the produce. With the support of the transportation team, the time of delivery can be shortened and quality control on produce can be increased.

The RUAF Foundation has implemented various marketing strategies throughout the world. The RUAF update bulletin in July 2010, shows that in the Middle East and North Africa regions, micro-farmers packed their produce into specific labelled packages before they were sold in the market. The labelled packaging assured  customers that they were buying quality organic produce, which increased its competitive advantage in the market place (RUAF Update#15). In the Anglophone West Africa region, the foundation built two marketing stalls in the University of Ghana campus in Accra to pack and send produce to shops for sale. The Foundation in Freetown packed mixed vegetables into bags and sold them to offices, NGOs and individual households. In addition, the foundation formed a women’s group to sell mango juice to local restaurants and fairs (RUAF update#15). In the Anglophone West Africa region, Harvest of Hope was selling 170-200 vegetable boxes to the local schools (RUAF update#15). In the Francophone West Africa region, producer groups sold the cabbage to local market women in Burkina Faso (RUAF update#15). In the Latin America region, some of the urban producer groups in Belo Horizonte, Brazil targeted their market to local schools (RUAF Update#15). In the Southeast Asia region, Indian farmers sold their carrots to a local market (RUAF Update#15). The RUAF foundation collects all the marketing strategies from its regions across the world, the majority of the customers are the local schools and local markets. One of the new marketing methods is the one used in Shanghai, China. The local farmers grow their produce in a park and their target market is the visitors in the park (RUAF Update#15). This method could be applied to this project if the rooftop garden becomes a tourist place. Produce can be sold while simultaneously raising awareness of rooftop gardening initiatives and organic food benefits.

The “Orti Solidalli” project in Rome is another way to market produce. In this example, the RUAF Foundation set up sixty plots of farm land which was sold to subscribers (Orti Solidalli (58-60)). The RUAF Foundation provides the technical support and human resources to the farm lands. The subscribers get to choose what is produced on their land and market the produce grown by the farmers.

Marketing Case Studies:

Harvest of Hope

RUAF Foundation


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