Value-Added Products A Smart Move

Today, many farmers are discovering new ways to showcase their produce and also connect with consumers. From community-supported agriculture (CSA) initiatives to online marketing and agritourism ventures, the modern farmer is embracing a spectrum of strategies to connect with consumers and build sustainable businesses.

“Farmers are leveraging a variety of marketing channels to showcase their products and engage with customers,” says Paul Dietmann, Director of Emerging Markets at Compeer Financial. “The introduction of value-added products has emerged as a key strategy. It allows farmers to enhance their branding, attract new customers, and also differentiate themselves in a competitive market.”

Value-added products, ranging from jams and pickles to direct-to-consumer meat offerings, have gained significant traction among consumers seeking authentic farm-to-table experiences. The resurgence of interest in locally sourced goods, amplified by the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, has spurred a renewed appreciation for products that offer a direct connection to the farm.

“The CSA model offers farmers a reliable source of income and also enables farmers to cultivate a loyal customer base. By offering subscriptions and delivering fresh produce directly to consumers, farmers can build long-term relationships and establish themselves as trusted providers of high-quality goods.”

In addition to CSA initiatives, farmers are exploring partnerships with Farm-to-Table restaurants, food companies, co-ops, and grocery stores to expand their reach and tap into new markets. However, navigating these relationships requires careful consideration and communication.

“Building strong relationships with buyers is essential in the agricultural industry. Farmers must prioritize transparency, reliability, and consistency to foster trust and loyalty among their customers.”