Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Selling Your Local Food Products

While farmers’ markets are a great outlet for your products, some farmers may decide the high transaction costs (like how much time you spend to pick products, pack them and then maintain your booth for the entire time the market is open!) and price instability (weather can affect sales dramatically at open air markets) aren’t for them. These farmers seek out other options. One of these outlets may be local grocery stores (see a great case study here). On a recent visit to Sappington Farmers Market, a grocery specializing in local foods in St. Louis, the displays of local products were beautiful.

Grocery stores expose your product to a much larger number of customers than possible through farmers’ markets. They also can carry products like meat and dairy year-round which provides a steady outlet for your product outside of the farmers’ market season. Remember – you will sell for a wholesale, not retail price. The grocer is looking for competitively priced products of consistent quality and quantity. They may require liability insurance, and certain food safety standards (like Good Agricultural Practices). However, the added volume of sales may compensate you for the lower price and extra attention to insurance and food safety.
(by Mary Hendrickson)

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