Key Components of a National Policy for Small Farms
Farmer; Hebron, Maryland
Notes from Discussion
The least successful area small farmers function in is marketing. Too often fresh fruits and vegetables are marketed as "commodities" and the seller becomes a price taker and not a price setter. The solution, in my opinion is co-ops. Under the conditions of a co-op, the farmer sets the prices and leverages his selling position because of the increased quantities offered through co-operative selling.
I market high quality beef, lamb, pork, and turkeys direct. Every animal is sold before it is purchased.
That is done through print advertising and word of mouth. This allows me the opportunity to gain a deposit and be guaranteed a sale as well as set the price. Producing a prime product is the key to word of mouth sales. Development of niche markets is critical. America is becoming diverse ethnic mix and the mass marketers/producers can not meet the needs of these groups.
The major difficulty in tapping these markets is developing contacts. It takes time and will power to learn. It can be done.
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