BUILDING ROUTES TO
MARKET AND IMPROVING MARKETING PRACTICES
In addition to producing quality products, farmers must ensure they
have profitable sales outlets. Farms of all sizes benefit from increased access
to aggregators, and processors that add value to their products. And, for farms that sell directly to
consumers, they must understand the most effective way to market their
product. This group of projects work to
build market share by increased route to market opportunities, and improve
profits by improving marketing expertise.
The risk level for these projects is moderate, and they should be
delivering a return on investment in their first two years.
Practical Tools to
Help Small Scale Livestock Producers Make a Profitable Connection to Local
Customers. It can be difficult for direct market livestock producers to
understand if they are pricing their product appropriately. Oftentimes the labor involved to market and
sell the product is underestimated, leading to lower-than-expected returns in
seemingly profitable markets. Matt
LeRoux of Cornell Cooperative Extension Tompkins County has developed a tool to
help producers identify their most profitable market channel and better price
their product. NYFVI has awarded LeRoux $99,923 to improve and promote this
tool, educating farmers across the state about pricing and profit while
compiling important data about marketing costs and decisions. The funds will
also assist in expanding the Meat Suite project, which connects livestock
producers to “freezer trade” customers.
Marketing Plans to
Help NYC Greenmarket Farmers Build Sales. Research estimated that 360,000
people walked through the Union Square Greenmarket (one of 62 farmers’ markets
in the NYC farmers’ market system) on a Friday last fall. Yet only 8% of them stopped to make a
purchase. Christopher Wayne of GrowNYC
has been awarded $69,465 to increase the number of purchasers by helping NY
farmers improve their marketing. Building on a 2014 NYFVI grant, the 2015
program will use a marketing team approach with expertise in merchandising,
online development, graphic design and record keeping to assist participating
farmers in developing and executing marketing plans. Based on the prior
project’s success, it is estimated that participating farms will see their
gross sales grow by 7% in the first year of executing their new marketing plan.
The project will use lessons learned to create a direct marketing guide
available to farmers across the state.