Knowledge Base: For Sellers Tools, resources and thought leadership in regional food

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Direct Marketing

  • Selling Strategies for Local Food Producers

    Published by University of Missouri Extension, this guide outlines strategies to assist farmers in selling their produce in a variety of direct market settings such as farmer’s markets and CSAs, and to restaurants, cooperatives, and institutions. (1.6 MB PDF)

  • Small Farm and Direct Marketing Handbook

    The Washington State Department of Agriculture publishes "The Green Book" to help beginning, established and/or transitioning farmers understand the rules and regulations for direct marketing an endless range of food, flower, seed and nursery products in Washington State, however much of the guidance is useful for farmers throughout the FoodHub region.

  • Northwest Direct: Improving Markets for Small Farms

    Northwest Direct is a collaborative effort to understand, evaluate and improve direct marketing opportunities for small farms. Project partners include land grant universities, government agencies, non-profits, and farmers across Washington, Oregon and Idaho. These farm case studies were developed to provide in-depth information about the direct and semi-direct marketing opportunities that exist for farmers (some of whom are FoodHub Members!) within their regional food system and how these opportunities are captured by a diverse set of successful producers. (0 B HTML)

  • Direct Marketing Guide

    This publication on direct marketing alternatives - with emphasis on niche, specialty and value-added crops - features many farm case studies, as well as information on enterprise budgets and promotion/publicity. A new section discusses implications of Internet marketing and e-commerce for agriculture. (698.1 KB PDF)

  • Pricing for Profit

    The Agricultural Marketing Resource Center article explains how to price your products to bring you the best profit when direct marketing. (0 B CFM)

  • Direct Marketing Budgeting Tool

    Use this calculator to help you to choose the most profitable direct marketing methods for your business, as well as estimate and compare the returns from selling your produce through CSAs, institutional sales, and farmers markets. (78.5 KB XLS)

  • Fishermen's Direct Marketing Manual

    If you're a commercial fisherman and thinking of marketing your own catch, the Fishermen's Direct Marketing Manual is for you. This free publication is packed with lots of advice and suggestions on the pros and cons of direct marketing. Chapters address strategies for distributing seafood, finding domestic and international customers for the catch, packaging and shipping seafood products, the basics of business planning, and other important topics. (0 B PDF)

  • Ready To Grow: A Plan for Increasing Illinois Fruit and Vegetable Production reports on their 2009 study that explored the barriers that growers face when attempting to access wholesale markets. Recommendations for actions that address barriers to scaling up are presented together with the feasibility of developing a packing house that connects specialty crop growers with wholesalers. (0 B 0/GETFILE?DDOCNAME=STELPRDC5097192)

  • Marketing Alternatives for Fresh Produce

    Along with providing an overview of marketing opportunities for fresh produce growers in the Pacific Northwest, this publication introduces growers to buyer's requirements and the how to's of wholesale marketing. (0 B PDF)

  • Link to familyfarmed site on wholesaling technical assistance's definitive training source on selling into wholesale markets, including topics such as: Calculating Return on Investment; Cleaning, Drying, and Curing Produce; Traceability; Packing Shed Design; and Maintaining the Cold Chain.

  • In the Market for Success: A Resource for Determining the Opportunites and Pitfalls of Cooperative Marketing Arrangements For Small-Scale Vegetable Farms

    This document investigates cooperative marketing as a means to expand marketing opportunities beyond direct to consumer models. (0 B PDF)


    Farmers' Markets

    Food Hubs

    • Background on Regional Food Hubs

      Many food producers are challenged by the lack of adequate distribution and processing infrastructure that would give them needed access to new markets. This white paper by James Barham, Agricultural Economist at the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service explains how regional food hubs can greatly support these producers, and to encourage smaller farmers to scale up their operations. (265.8 KB PDF)

    • Food Hubs: Viable Regional Distribution Solutions

      Food hubs, or regional food aggregation and coordination facilities, offer great promise for systemic social and environmental change. This webinar focuses on key elements of successful food hubs provides a clear illustration of the variety of models that exist, and the outcomes they offer.

    • U.S. Food Hubs

      This resource from the Good Food Network is a database of food hubs listed by state. Most entries are linked to a website for more information.

    • Leveraging Existing Infrastructure

      In this webinar, Karen Karp of Karp Resources provides illustrative examples of the ways in she has worked collaboratively with her clients to overcome some of the barriers to food system change at scale. (0 B ORG/RESOURCES/NGFN-CLUSTER-CALLS/LEVERAGING-EXISTING-INFRASTRUCTURE/LEVERAGING-EXISTING-INFRASTRUCTURE-FOR-SIGNIFICANT-FOOD-SYSTEM-CHANGE-FOOD-HUBS-REGIONAL-DISTRIBUTION-FARM-TO-SCHOOL-AND-MORE)

    • Food Hubs and Values-Based Supply Chains: A Toolkit for California Farmers

      This report describes how scale and ownership are two important factors to be considered when evaluating a any values based supply chain enterprise. Considerations and benefits of various models are discussed. A set of questions that growers may wish to ask before doing business with a VBSC enterprise are included. (0 B PDF)

    • Regional Food Hub Resource Guide

      This USDA guide defines food hubs, discusses the impacts that food hubs have, and identfies barriers faced in the development of food hubs together with resources to overcome barriers. (0 B 0/GETFILE?DDOCNAME=STELPRDC5097957)

    • The Role of Food Hubs in Local Food Marketing

      This USDA report defines food hubs and explains the various functions and structures that these models might take. Constraints and regulations are also identified. (0 B PDF)

    • Building Successful Food Hubs: A Planning Guide for Aggregating and Processing Local Food in Illinois

      A guide to the business development process for the aspiring local food aggregation or processing enterprise. (0 B PDF)