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Conference Name Direct Marketing to Large Retailers – Risk Management Opportunities

Jennie Popp


In Arkansas and across the nation, local food marketing has expanded beyond farmers’ markets and food stands. Through emerging local and regional supply networks, farmers are gaining access to customers in new and innovative ways. One group of resources gaining popularity are electronic marketing networks, (such as Market Maker) that gather information from producers and potential customers and give farmers greater access to local and regional markets. Large retail chains (including Walmart) are now exploring how electronic markets can be used to increase consumer market share by meeting customer demands for fresher, local grown foods. These new and emerging direct markets potentially offer benefits to producers by providing known and stable markets. However, before producers can realize the full potential of these new marketing avenues, several barriers must be overcome. Marketing directly to retail and wholesale outlets presents additional issues that must be identified and managed by producers.

The University of Arkansas Center for Agricultural and Rural Sustainability and Applied Sustainability Center along with the National Agricultural Law Center have undertaken a project in cooperation with national retailers, NGOs, CBOs and other Land Grant universities whose goal is to provide risk management opportunities for producers interested in engaging in these emerging markets. This session will focus on the work being lead by University of Arkansas and its partners to 1) identify risk management needs of specialty crop producers and 2) efforts to date to address those needs.

Presentation Materials