Fresh Produce Marketing: Crtical Trends and Issues. Series of 7 articles. The U.S. fresh produce sector continues to grow. Markets for these products are increasingly complex and often involve high risks, with the potential for high rewards. Innovations in distribution and technology, retailer and wholesaler consolidation, changing legal environment, international policies, food safety issues, and health concerns create new challenges and new opportunities in a sector where per acre cost of production is already high and traditional government safety nets do not exist.
Direct Marketing Guide for Producers of Fruits, Vegetables, and Other Specialty Products (PB 1711) is an excellent overview of direct marketing strategies for the budding entrepreneur. This bulletin provides practical advice on selling through farmers' markets, roadside stands, and pick-your-own operations. Other topics such as business planning, market research, advertising and promotion, and pricing are discussed as well.
Pickyourown.org, localharvest.org, and www.picktnproducts.org offer free listings to small farms and farm businesses. These sites also allow prospective customers or tourists to search for farms and related businesses by state, product, etc.
Developments in the Direct Marketing of Horticultural Crops in Tennessee is a PowerPoint presentation that provides an overview of direct marketing alternatives and the rural economic development aspects of direct marketing in Tennessee. Note: This is a large file because of high quality graphics included in the presentation.
Profiles of Innovative Agricultural Marketing: Examples from Direct Farm Marketing and Agri-Tourism Enterprises by the Western Extension Marketing Committee. This publication examines 17 direct farm marketing and agri-tourism enterprises from the West and also includes introductory and summary sections. The end of each section provides contact information for the enterprises examined and for the contributing authors. The Western Extension Marketing Committee is greatly indebted to the willingness and openness of all interviewed participants to share the strategies, successes, and failures of their enterprises and what their plans are for meeting future challenges and risks.
new publication entitled In
the Eyes of the Law: Legal Issues Associated with Direct Farm Marketing
provides producers who are considering becoming direct marketers a brief introduction
to legal issues that may affect their business so they can avoid or minimize risk
and liability. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or address every
situation, since direct marketing can be varied and expansive as creativity, ambition,
intuition, and resources allow.
to Direct Market Farm Products on the Internet provides basic information
and suggestions for direct farm marketers on selecting and tailoring a Web site
to meet their marketing needs and goals, including: (1) reasons for considering
using the Web for direct farm marketing, (2) how to develop a marketing plan,
(3) how to research the market, and (4) how to set up and market the Web site.
Anyone that is involved in trying to direct market their products needs to read Marketing on the Edge: A Marketing Guide for Progressive Farmers. This publication is available from the North American Farmers' Direct Marketing Association (NAFDMA). Topics include consumer trends, components of direct marketing, merchandising, advertising and promtions, and value added processing. More information about this reference manual and ordering information can be obtained from the link above.
ATTRA Direct Marketing Business Management Series by Katherine Adam, Radhika Balasubrahmanyam, and Holly Born. This publication focuses on direct marketing alternatives-with emphasis on niche, specialty and value-added crops-features many farm case studies, as well as information on enterprise budgets and promotion/publicity. A new section discusses implications of Internet marketing and e-commerce for agriculture.
Facilities for Roadside Markets (an NRAES publication). Selling produce from a roadside market can be satisfying and profitable, but only with careful planning. This publication is valuable for persons considering a roadside market or looking to improve or expand a current one. Three chapters cover site considerations (visibility and accessibility, utilities, drainage, zoning, and building ordinances); market layout (areas for sales, preparation, and shipping and receiving); and market structure and facilities (parking, lighting, fire protection, security, and more). Also included are twenty-six illustrations, four tables, and two sets of plans.
Produce Handling for Direct Marketing. Successful direct marketing of fresh fruits and vegetables depends on providing quality items in a clean and customer-friendly environment. This publication is valuable for growers who sell seasonal produce at local farmers' markets or roadside markets. It describes postharvest physiology, food safety, produce handling from harvest to storage, refrigerated storage, produce displays, and specific handling and display recommendations for over forty types of fruits and vegetables.
Refrigeration and Controlled Atmosphere Storage for Horticultural Crops. Refrigerated storage extends the period of acceptable eating quality of perishable seasonable products. General construction procedures for storage facilities are discussed in this handbook, such as site selection, structural considerations, thermal insulation, vapor barriers, and attic ventilation. Different refrigeration systems are explained, including descriptions of equipment and operating procedures.
Farmers and Their Diversified Horticultural Marketing Strategies: An Educational Video on Innovative Marketing, NRAES-139 ($15.00 plus S&H/sales tax, 49-minute video, 1999) profiles vegetable, fruit, and horticultural growers who have pursued a variety of rewarding approaches adapted to their unique products and conditions. The video will help both new and established growers and their advisors carefully consider the marketing options for their particular situations that can enhance income and promote the sustainability of their farms.
Alternatives for Specialty Produce is an excellent guide for growers
producing and marketing specialty crops. Worksheets are included to aid in estimating
Food Safety for Farmers' Market Vendors, by Julie A. Albrecht, Ph.D., focuses on the steps that need to be taken to ensure proper food handling. While this guide is based on the Nebraska Food Code, it is still a good source for all food handlers throughout the nation.
Direct Farm Marketing and Tourism Handbook This guide, produced by the University of Arizona Agricultural and Resource Economics department, is designed to help farm and ranch operators (and other individuals who grow or process food products) market their products and services directly to the consumer.
Simple and Successful Vegetable Farming: How to Sell Your Crops: Marketing, by the Communication and Educational Technology Services, University of Minnesota Extension Service, describes various ways to market your products. Includes wholesale marketing and direct marketing via farmers' markets or roadside stands.
What Can I do with my Small Farm? Selecting an Enterprise for Small Acreages produced by Oregon State University Extension Service outlines different alternatives and characteristics needed for small farms to expand beyond the normal farming options.
Direct Marketing of Farm Produce and Home Goods by John Cottingham, James Hovland, Jordana Lenon, Teryl Roper, and Catherine Techtmann of University of Wisconsin Extension. This report discusses the different alternatives available through direct marketing. Some of the options addressed include pick your own, roadside markets, farmers' markets, subscription farming, home delivery, and selling to stores, restaurants and other institutions. Other topics covered are marketing, financial planning, regulations, merchandising, and general management issues.
American Farmers' Direct Marketing Association is the perfect place
for family farmers, extension agents and farm market managers to network with
each other on the profitability of direct marketing. This website has links explaining
the benefits of membership, the purpose of the association, conferences, membership
application form, and contact information.
American Community Garden Association is a national nonprofit organization that supports community greening in urban and rural communities. One might ask how do you start a community garden? or what benefits are gained by having a community garden.? These and other issues are addressed through this list of ublications. A few of the publications are offered for a fee, others are available for free. Check out this website if you want to learn more about community gardens.
Supported Agriculture provided by CSREES, NAL, and the USDA. Community
Supported Agriculture is emerging as an alternative way to sustain farming practices.
This website is dedicated to defining and locating a CSA farm and to further explain
sustainable agriculture. For the CSA farmer there is a section to assist in locating
specific resources and a set of direct marketing links.
Tax Information for Businesses. This website, provided by the IRS, is a good source of information for tax rules and regulations.
The Small Business/Self-Employed webpage, also provided by the IRS, offers information and links for starting a business, employee records, employer id numbers, and many other aspects of owning and operating a small business.