For farmers in the busy summer season it can seem like there aren’t enough hours in the day to get through everything on the to-do list. Two farmers, however, have found a way to maximize their marketing potential using FoodHub.
“Any time we spend in the office is precious,” said Christine Deck of Deck Family Farms in Junction City, OR. “I think the biggest challenge for our farm is the time it takes to solicit the sales.”
Deck Family Farm joined FoodHub soon after the site was launched and struggled at first to work it into their day-to-day business. Now, however, FoodHub is a part of their overall marketing efforts and, after setting up their profile, they’re finding that it takes just a short amount of time each day to start getting some attention.
“On average I spend about 10 minutes a day on FoodHub,” said Deck Family Farm’s office manager Cassandra Timms. “On Monday and Tuesday we call all of our wholesale accounts and post what we have an overstock of and what we have on special in the FoodHub Marketplace.”
And Timms said, working FoodHub into their day-to-day routine has been paying off for their farm.
“FoodHub has opened doors by word of mouth to chefs who have tried our products and then referred some of their friends to our farm,” she said. “We didn’t have to do the footwork or cold call them when they don’t have the time – they were just referred to us. That makes it worth those 10 minutes a day.”
Similarly, Phil Greifs of pdFarms and Greifs Gourmet in Elgin, OR, found the value of spending a small portion of time each day on FoodHub.
“You have to check in on FoodHub,” he said. “I check My FoodHub twice a day during the week just to see what’s out there.” And, he said, being active on FoodHub has brought welcome change to other parts of his business as well. “It just seems like the connections keep coming,” said Greif. “I was making deliveries to Portland once a month and sometimes every other week. Now it’s on a weekly basis and I partner up with another farm – who is also a FoodHub member – and take turns making deliveries.”
While FoodHub’s role is usually a sales and marketing function, for pd Farms the site has made a difference in what gets planted in the ground as well.
“We’re not planting more crops; instead we’re planting more of the crops that grow better here,” said Greif. “We used to raise 30 different varieties to take to farmers’ markets. Now I grow 16 crops that do really well here and I sell it all because of the connections I’ve made on FoodHub.”