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Choosing Market Channels

Perhaps you knew right away where you planned to market your products. Many new farmers opt for farmers’ markets or farm stands. But even if you think you have already made this decision, it’s not a bad idea to learn the ins and outs of other marketing channels. Direct marketing is the first choice for the majority of small-scale farmers, because it helps you personalize your product and keep more of the retail dollar in your pocket. However, it’s not for everyone. It’s a lot of extra work and requires frequent interaction with potential customers.

Matthew LeRoux and several others from Cornell Cooperative Extension produced an excellent manual to walk you through the various types of markets that exist, with worksheets to determine which markets are right for you. The manual is called Guide to Marketing Channel Selection: How to Sell Through Wholesale and Direct Markets (PDF) and you can download it here. It was produced in 2010 with support from the NY Farm Viability Institute.

Read through this Guide and complete the relevant activities to firm up your ideas on marketing. Then revisit the Marketing Plan worksheet to see if you can add any more information to it.

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