In light of growing concerns over the production of the foods we ingest, rediscovering your local farmer’s market is creating a growing surge of buying sustainable foods in your area. The farmer’s market or area vegetable and fruit stands is one of the most successful, cost-effective and independent direct marketing concepts for local farms to sell their goods to the general public. This direct marketing avenue enables you to buy fresh, organically grown produce, dairy products, flora and grass-fed meats from local farmers.
Direct marketing does two things for the agricultural industry: First, it sends the farmer’s messages directly to their consumers, without the use of costly advertising. Second, it focuses on driving purchases directly to consumers, while placing emphasis on responses and feedback coming directly from their customers.
The following five advantages confirm the importance of using direct marketing strategies that are beneficial to productivity and profitability of local farms:
1. Allows farmers the opportunity to personally meet, know and develop community relations while meeting the locals
2. Offers freshness, taste and nutrition
3. Helps local farmers stay in business
4. No middle man which increases the price to consumers
5. Develop customer loyalty through repeat business
Another interesting addition to increasing product availability to the public is through the CSA (Community Supported Agriculture). The CSA operates as a program designed for repeat business. In essence, this is another way for customers to buy locally grown food directly from farmers, by purchasing a membership or subscription in return for a package of seasonal products each week, throughout the farming season.
Farmer’s Markets have certainly evolved into a diverse display of interrelating products in these open-air produce stands or partially closed building sites. Produce is fresher, because transporting the goods from the farms to consumers is a shorter distance and process, than the longer exchanges to get goods from farms to the supermarkets. Farmers Markets carry a wide variety of other categorically interrelated products such as honey, dairy products, fresh cut flowers, trees/bushes for landscaping, herbs, nuts, baked goods and assorted deserts, craft items, textiles, syrups, teas, farm crafts, soaps/body products and in some areas fresh fish and seafood.
Despite the fact that the agricultural industry is not as fashionable as it was decades ago, it is still a highly significant industry playing a vital role in our health and survival. Applying the direct marketing concept to the agricultural industry does not have to entail complex marketing channels, but can be fundamental in the success of getting the farmer’s messages to their consumers in a cost-effective method.