Alternative Agricultural Markets in Alberta, 2008

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Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development (ARD) has for some time been devoting resources to the development of new opportunities for farmers to market their products. In 2004, ARD established a baseline estimate of the value of five alternative market sectors for agricultural products and services and investigated their growth potential. ARD wished to repeat these measures and obtain current information on three of the sectors, Farmers’ Markets, Farm Retail (formerly known as Farm Direct) and Farm Activities (formerly termed On-Farm Ag Activities). Since 2004, increasing interest has been expressed about the trend to purchase Local Food, so this sector was added to the 2008 survey.

These alternative markets were defined to respondents as follows:
  • Farmers' Markets: A place or space which is open on a regular scheduled basis, where one can buy fresh fruits and vegetables, flowers, bedding plants, herbs and other farm products, including processed food like honey, jams, pies and sausages, from farmers and growers who sell at stalls or tables there.
  • Farm Retail purchasing: Buying products like fresh fruit and vegetables, flowers, bedding plants, herbs, meat and other farm products, including wine, honey, jams, pies and sausages, at a farm or ranch gate, a farm or ranch store or stand, a roadside stall, a greenhouse ON A FARM, a U-Pick farm, or by Internet or mail from a farm.
  • Farm or Ranch Activities: This includes things like staying in a farmhouse or on a guest ranch; attending a horseback riding camp on a ranch; taking a wagon or sleigh ride; going through a maze; a petting farm; or going on a tour of different farms with unusual animals like elk, ostrich, llama or bison, or something similar that you PAY to do on a farm or ranch.
  • Local Food: Food grown or made in Alberta.
For a complete copy of the report please download the attached 934k PDF file.

For a copy of the executive summary please download the attached 204k PDF file.

This project falls under the "Local Market Expansion Project"
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For more information about the content of this document, contact Jeewani Fernando.
This document is maintained by Shukun Guan.
This information published to the web on October 6, 2009.
Last Reviewed/Revised on November 14, 2014.