Our Farmers Markets and Direct-to-Consumer Marketing cluster works to improve market access for operators of small and medium-size farms, helping them to compete effectively outside the mass supermarket system and other large wholesale market channels.
We promote and support the development and continued operation of all areas of direct-to-consumer marketing including:
- Farmers markets, farm stands, and roadside stands
- Community-supported agriculture (CSA)
We encourage and support development of private direct marketing and farmers market associations and State-level associations, and we promote collaboration and coordinate regional networking among private and public organizations.
In order to help agricultural producers benefit from ongoing consumer interest in direct-to-consumer marketing and strengthen producer and consumer linkages, we:
- Identify issues and opportunities that affect every area of direct-to-consumer marketing.
- Conduct timely research and support that of others, providing industry with information needed to make informed decisions in response to changing marketing conditions and to guide them to the most promising practices. Our research yields consumer trends, case studies, successful models, and “how-to” information.
- Disseminate results of research and data collection through our Web sites, conferences, workshops, training sessions, videos, and publications.
- Collaborate with other agencies involved in direct marketing, including State departments of agriculture, Extension agents, universities, tribal governments, and farmer organizations and associations. Partnering with these agencies enhances direct marketing efforts throughout the industry.
- Maintain a clearinghouse--a central location where our research and information and that of other agencies, organizations, and associations is accessible.