Exploring Market Channels for Agricultural Product Sales

Taking Time to Understand the Market Channel and Preparing for It
apple orchard with wooden ladders and barrels of red apples

Picking a market channel for your agricultural products can be a daunting experience. Instead of hopping on the bandwagon or just going with your gut feeling, take time to understand the market channel and get ready for it. The work will pay off on the long run.

There are five things agriculture business owners should consider when exploring new and different markets:

  1. Farm location and customers within a 10-mile radius: How far are customers willing to travel to get to your farm? If you are looking at an off-site market, how far are you willing to travel to get to your customers? How much does it benefit your agriculture business operation?
  2. Production volume and product diversity: What you produce, and the quantities you produce, could dictate whether you sell directly to consumers rather than selling through a distributor for a wholesale market.
  3. Benefits and challenges: Each market channel has its own unique features. Proximity to markets, inclement weather, parking accessibility, building structure and unintentional damage of crops by customers are just a few to consider.
  4. Customer profiles:  Who you are reaching, and who is your product is appealing to? Are your customers families, foodies, baby boomers or another group? 
  5. Finding the right fit: Every operation has different requirements. Find the marketing channel that is profitable and fits your lifestyle and values and is in balance with your farm operation.  

To learn more or discuss about exploring market channels for your agriculture operation, contact Nada Haddad, Agricultural Business Management Field Specialist, Food and Agriculture, UNH Cooperative Extension at Nada.Haddad@unh.edu or 603-679-5616. Also Nada will speak on this topic on Wednesday, May 2 at the Women’s Rural Entrepreneurial Network (WREN) http://wrenworks.org/ in Bethlehem.

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Anna Boudreau
State Advisory Council Chair, Natural Resources Steward and NH Coverts Cooperator