Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home

Direct marketing channel choices among US farmers: evidence from the Local Food Marketing Practices Survey

  • Zoë T. Plakias (a1), Iryna Demko (a2) and Ani L. Katchova (a1)

Abstract

Due to strong interest in local foods by US consumers, farmers are now marketing not only to traditional wholesale outlets but also via short supply chains to consumers, grocers, restaurants, schools and other local intermediaries. Our research questions are: (1) what farm and farmer characteristics predict farmers’ participation in various direct marketing channels, and (2) what farm and farmer characteristics predict farmers’ choice of a particular combination of direct marketing channels? This work is important because prior research suggests that while total direct sales via short supply chains continue to grow, direct-to-consumer sales (e.g. via farmers’ markets and Community Support Agriculture, or CSAs) are plateauing. Our work highlights key relationships and implies potential barriers and opportunities for farmers in this maturing local foods landscape. To answer our research questions empirically, we employ the 2015 Local Food Marketing Practices Survey, collected by USDA in 2016, and binomial and multinomial logit regressions. Our research yields a number of useful results. For example, we find evidence suggesting the existence of product-specific barriers to participation in certain channels; livestock producers are less likely than other farmers to sell directly to retailers, whereas vegetable farmers are less likely to sell to intermediaries. We also find that beginning farmers are more likely to sell directly to retailers, but less likely to sell to intermediaries than more established farmers, suggesting potential barriers and opportunities for entry into this channel for less experienced farmers. These insights suggest potential areas of attention for policymakers and other decisionmakers, as well as areas for future study.

  • View HTML
    • Send article to Kindle

      To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

      Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

      Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

      Direct marketing channel choices among US farmers: evidence from the Local Food Marketing Practices Survey
      Available formats
      ×

      Send article to Dropbox

      To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

      Direct marketing channel choices among US farmers: evidence from the Local Food Marketing Practices Survey
      Available formats
      ×

      Send article to Google Drive

      To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

      Direct marketing channel choices among US farmers: evidence from the Local Food Marketing Practices Survey
      Available formats
      ×

Copyright

This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Corresponding author

Author for correspondence: Zoë T. Plakias, E-mail: plakias.2@osu.edu

References

Hide All
Adanacioglu, H (2017) Factors affecting farmers’ decisions to participate in direct marketing: a case study of cherry growers in the Kemalpasa District of Izmir, Turkey. Renewable Agriculture and Food Systems 32, 291305.
Ahearn, M and Sterns, J (2013) Direct-to-consumer sales of farm products: producers and supply chains in the Southeast. Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics 45, 497508.
Bauman, A, Thilmany, D and Jablonski, BBR (2017) Evaluating scale and technical efficiency among farms and ranches with a local market orientation. Renewable Agriculture and Food Systems, 19.
Bauman, A, Thilmany, D and Jablonski, BBR (2018) The financial performance implications of differential marketing strategies: exploring farms that pursue local markets as a core competitive advantage. Agricultural and Resource Economics Review 47, 128.
Brown, C, Gandee, JE and D'Souza, G (2006) West Virginia farm direct marketing: a county level analysis. Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics 38, 575584.
Detre, JD, Mark, TB, Mishra, AK and Adhikari, A (2011) Linkage between direct marketing and farm income: a double-hurdle approach. Agribusiness 27, 1933.
Feenstra, G and Ohmart, J (2012) The evolution of the school food and farm to school movement in the United States: connecting childhood health, farms, and communities. Childhood Obesity 8, 280289.
Gale, F (1997) Direct farm marketing as a rural development tool. Rural Development Perspectives 12, 1925.
Govindasamy, R, Hossain, F and Adelaja, A (1999) Income of farmers who use direct marketing. Agricultural and Resource Economics Review 28, 7683.
Gwin, L, Thiboumery, A and Stillman, R (2013) Local Meat and Poultry Processing. Economic Research Report Number 150. Washington, DC: Economic Research Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Hardesty, SD (2008) The growing role of local food markets. American Journal of Agricultural Economics 90, 12891295.
Hardesty, SD and Leff, P (2010) Determining marketing costs and returns in alternative marketing channels. Renewable Agriculture and Food Systems 25, 2434.
Hoppe, RA and MacDonald, JM (2013) Updating the ERS Farm Typology. Economic Information Bulletin Number 110. Washington, DC: Economic Research Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Janssen, B (2014) Bridging the gap between farmers and food service directors: the social challenges in farm to school purchasing. Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development 5, 129143.
Kim, M, Curtis, KR and Yeager, I (2014) An assessment of market strategies for small-scale produce growers. International Food and Agribusiness Management Review 17, 187204.
King, RP, Hand, MS, DiGiacomo, G, Clancy, K, Gómez, MI, Hardesty, SD, Lev, L and McLaughlin, EW (2010) Comparing the Structure, Size, and Performance of Local and Mainstream Food Supply Chains. Economic Research Report Number 99. Washington, DC: Economic Research Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture.
LeRoux, MN, Schmit, TM, Roth, M and Streeter, DH (2010) Evaluating marketing channel options for small-scale fruit and vegetable producers. Renewable Agriculture and Food Systems 25, 1623.
Low, SA and Vogel, S (2011) Direct and Intermediated Marketing of Local Foods in the United States. Economic Research Report Number 128. Washington, DC: Economic Research Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Low, SA, Adalja, A, Beaulieu, E, Key, N, Martinez, S, Melton, A, Perez, A, Ralston, K, Stewart, H, Suttles, S, Vogel, S and Jablonski, BBR (2015) Trends in U.S. Local and Regional Food Systems: A Report to Congress. Administrative Publication Number 068. Washington, DC: Economic Research Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Monson, J, Mainville, D and Kuminoff, N (2008) The decision to direct market: an analysis of small fruit and specialty-product markets in Virginia. Journal of Food Distribution Research 39, 111.
Morgan, TK and Alipoe, D (2001) Factors affecting the number and type of small-farm direct marketing outlets in Mississippi. Journal of Food Distribution Research 32, 125132.
National Farm to School Network (2018). Available at http://www.farmtoschool.org/ (Accessed January 2018)
Park, T, Mishra, AK and Wozniak, SJ (2014) Do farm operators benefit from direct to consumer marketing strategies? Agricultural Economics 45, 213224.
Sage, JL and Goldberger, JR (2012) Decisions to direct market: geographic influences on conventions in organic production. Applied Geography 34, 5765.
Starr, A, Card, A, Benepe, C, Auld, G, Lamm, D, Smith, K and Wilken, K (2003) Sustaining local agriculture barriers and opportunities to direct marketing between farms and restaurants in Colorado. Agriculture and Human Values, 20, 301321.
[SAFSF] Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems Funders (2016) 2016 Year End Report. Available at http://www.safsf.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/2016YER_FINAL_web.pdf (Accessed April 2017).
Tarkan, L (2015) The big business behind the local food. Fortune. Available at http://fortune.com/2015/08/21/local-food-movement-business/ (Accessed July 2018).
Thilmany, D and Woods, TA (2018) Local food coming of age: the evolution of the local brand, policy initiatives and role of direct markets in the agriculture portfolio. Choices (New York, N Y ) 33, 12.
Timmons, D and Wang, Q (2010) Direct food sales in the United States: evidence from state and county-level data. Journal of Sustainable Agriculture 34, 229240.
Uematsu, H and Mishra, AK (2011) Use of direct marketing strategies by farmers and their impact on farm business income. Agricultural and Resource Economics Review 40, 119.
[USDA NASS] U.S. Department of Agriculture National Agricultural Statistics Service (2016 a) 2015 Local Food Marketing Practices Survey Methodology and Quality Measures. Available at https://www.agcensus.usda.gov/Publications/2012/Online_Resources/Local_Food/quality_measures/2015_LFMPS_Methodology.pdf (Accessed June 2017).
[USDA NASS] U.S. Department of Agriculture National Agricultural Statistics Service (2016 b) 2012 Census of Agriculture Highlights, Direct Farm Sales of Food, Results from the 2015 Local Food Marketing Practices Survey, ACH12-35. Available at https://www.agcensus.usda.gov/Publications/2012/Online_Resources/Highlights/Local_Food/LocalFoodsMarketingPractices_Highlights.pdf (Accessed January 2017).
[USDA NASS] U.S. Department of Agriculture National Agricultural Statistics Service (2017) Quick Stats. Available at https://quickstats.nass.usda.gov/A1BE5DEE-26D0-329C-8F5A-B6804BDC881F?long_desc__LIKE=directly (Accessed February 2017).

Keywords

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed