Direct Marketing

Blackberries, blueberries and raspberries. (Copyright IStock.)

Farmers are finding new ways to shorten the marketing route, delivering products directly to their customers. Farmers' markets, CSA, agri-tourism, farm entertainment, direct sales to businesses and home delivery are only a few ideas.

Drake University Law School.

The guide covers various direct marketing options "as well as business organization, contracts, labeling, insurance and liability, food safety, licensing, inspections," and more. Describes who to call and gives examples of questions to ask. Provides links to state and organizational contacts and includes a video library, FAQ's, and sample direct marketing documents.

National Center for Appropriate Technology. ATTRA - National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service.

Discusses direct marketing, marketing plans, promotion and branding, and the benefits and risks of direct marketing. Marketing channels covered include agritourism, Community Supported Agriculture (CSA), farmers markets, internet-based marketing, and direct sales to restaurants, institutions, and food hubs.

University of Arizona. Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics.

Covers a wide range of agricultural opportunities and business issues to assist agricultural producers, farmers and ranchers and individuals directly market their products and services to the consumer.

USDA. Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education.

Highlights farmer success stories for direct marketing ventures, provides tips on selecting alternative marketing channels and links to helpful programs and resources. Marketing options include adding value, agri-tourism, CSA/co-ops, direct marketing, evaluating new enterprises, Internet sales, pick-your-own/farm stands, remote marketing and restaurant sales.