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AMS No. 153-08
Joan Shaffer (202) 720-8998
Billy Cox (202) 720-8998

Washington, Aug. 8, 2008 -- USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) today released Supply Chain Basics: The Dynamics of Change in the U.S. Food Marketing Environment, a report that focuses on helping small- and medium-sized farmers take advantage of the shifts in today’s retail food marketplace.

The Dynamics of Change is the latest link in the Supply Chain Basics series of reports that help farmers understand the changing nature of today’s food marketing environment. Other reports in the series focus on logistical technology (Technology: How Much—How Soon) and niche marketing (The Logistics of Niche Agricultural Marketing).

This report examines the changes in the retail marketing environment, especially as it affects the relationship between grocery stores and their vendors. It covers such areas as consolidation in the retail food marketing sector, increases in direct collaboration between retailers and vendors, and the ways retailers can differentiate themselves from their competitors by featuring greater varieties of specialty or locally produced or manufactured items. This evolving marketing environment, combined with the increasing flexibility of individual stores to make procurement decisions, offers new opportunities to smaller-scale growers and processors. The report discusses ways to highlight their unique product offerings and geographic proximity to retail buyers as a competitive advantage.

“Small farmers who are seeking alternative ways to market their products will find this report extremely useful,” said AMS Administrator Lloyd Day. The report brings food producers up to speed on the evolving nature of the food marketing environment.

Supply Chain Basics: The Dynamics of Change in the U.S. Food Marketing Environment is available online at and will soon be available in print form on request from Shannon Ford, Marketing Services Division, Transportation and Marketing Programs, AMS, Room 2646-South, STOP 0269, 1400 Independence Ave., SW, Washington, D.C. 20250; by phone at 202/720-8317; fax at 202/690-0031; or e-mail to
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  Last Modified Date: 08/08/2008