Sourcing directly from farmers can have both benefits and challenges for manufacturers. So what tips the scales? What are the advantages that outweigh the challenges, and how can you, as a farmer, use this to your advantage? Here we address six categories of benefits: communication, interdependence, marketing advantages, transparency, value alignment, and simple economics.
Beyond Fresh and Direct fact sheets are part of a project exploring the opportunities and challenges small and medium-size farms encounter when they seek to enter the rapidly-growing specialty food marketplace as either ingredient suppliers or manufacturers themselves. The project included:
- A survey of specialty food manufacturers in California, Minnesota, Oregon, Washington, and Wisconsin in 2015, and
- Interviews with selected manufacturers and farmers who supply manufacturers in four broad food categories: dairy; grain and baked goods; processed meats; and processed fruit, vegetables, nuts, and herbs
Benefits: How Can Sourcing Directly from Farmers Benefit Specialty Food Manufacturers? (PDF)
Larry Lev, Oregon State University, Project Director
Gail Feenstra, University of California-Davis
Shermain Hardesty, University of California-Davis
Laurie Houston, Oregon State University
Jan Joannides, Renewing the Countryside
Robert P. King, University of Minnesota
This project was supported by Agriculture and Food Research Initiative Competitive Grant no. 2015-68006-22906 from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture.