Why You Should Consider Selling At A Farmers' Market

 
  Spring 2015
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 Now that spring is on the horizon and production plans are underway, it’s time to think about where you are going to market the fruits of your labour. Farmers’ markets are a great place to get started:
  1. Allow you to start small: Selling at a farmers’ market will allow you to test the waters to see if farm direct marketing is right for you.
  2. Business incubator: If you have never sold a product direct to consumers, selling at a farmers’ market will help you gauge if you have the ability—and desire—to sell and if you know how to run a small business.
  3. Test market for your products: Farmers’ markets help producers discover the real demand for their products and discover what types of products customers are seeking.
  4. Build relationships: The cornerstone of farm direct marketing is building relationships with your customers. You get to know who your customers are and what they want in a product. They also get to know you and your operation.
  5. Price maker: You have total control over how you price your products.
  6. Immediate payment: Unlike selling through wholesale market channels, you will receive immediate payment for your product.
  7. Diversification opportunity: Farm direct marketing allows you to diversify your farm operation and consider other marketing channels such as a CSA, on-farm store, etc.
  8. Outlet for excess product: Perhaps you already operate a u-pick or on- farm store. Selling through a farmers’ market gives you the opportunity to sell excess product that isn’t being sold through your other marketing channels.
  9. Lower overhead costs: Selling through a farmers’ market has much lower overhead costs than other forms of retail selling. There are still costs to consider but they are typically lower than other “storefront” options.
  10. Recognition under the Food Regulation: Alberta approved farmers’ markets are recognized in Part 3 of the Alberta Food Regulation.

This Part allows for food vendors to make their food products in their home kitchens, a benefit that is only available at Alberta approved farmers’ markets.

To learn more about becoming a vendor at a farmers’ market, sign up for one of the Explore Local Getting Into Farmers’ Market workshops being offered in April. Visit explorelocal.ca under the Resources tab for more information, or contact Eileen Kotowich, farmers’ market specialist with Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development at 780-853-8223 or email eileen.kotowich@gov.ab.ca.

 
 
 
 
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For more information about the content of this document, contact Eileen Kotowich.
This information published to the web on May 26, 2015.