On most Sunday mornings, as the sun rises further in the morning sky, white tents of all different sizes rise and tables are garnered with trinkets, art, and food. The local farmer’s market is an event that brings the community together and boasts the many cherished talents and enterprising hard work of the people who live in the area or are simply traveling through. For most in attendance, it is simply an enjoyable way to spend the day but for some it is the moment that could make or break their very way of life.
Farmers have historically struggled with a choice, go big or never grow. If a farmer wanted to turn an ever-increasing profit on the land, they cultivated they would have to kowtow to the agricultural giants that sell massive quantities to the supersized Grocery Store chains. Otherwise, they would return every Sunday to the local farmer’s market and hope the weather is fine and the harvest is bountiful. Many may find it hard to believe that it could be any other way. However, things are changing, fast. With the rise of on demand everything, people are looking to the Online Grocery Market to buy locally grown food in the convenience of their own home.
The online farmer’s market, if you will, is dramatically changing the traditional business model of a small, local farm. Perry Miller wrote in his article Everything you need to know about online farmers markets for inhabitat website, “By only doing business in a defined location, these websites can easily work with local farms to market and ship fresh produce to individuals. It also leads to regionally based competition as farmers compete with larger grocery chains, which are increasingly offering deliverable food.” The farmer is no longer backed into a corner with the only option to really thrive in the business being the operation of a massive farm, rather farmers can collaborate to more efficiently bring local produce to the consumer.
It will benefit any small farmer to seriously consider partnering with the other farmers in the community to make this happen in their own local areas. Some companies such as Barn2Door (https://www.barn2door.com) help farmers create attractive websites with the features necessary to acquire new customers and sell more produce in a way that is convenient to both the farmer and the consumer. Today, to most consumers in America fresh, eco-friendly grown, and non-additive produce is synonymous with higher price points and smaller portions. However, companies like Thrive Market (https://thrivemarket.com/myaisle/) use the contrary as their selling point. By setting up a monthly subscription, consumers have access to cheaper organic foods saving customers up to 50% of the cost they would see if they went to buy similar products from Whole Foods or the organic food isle in most big chain supermarkets today. These kinds of subscription-based options can provide the necessary cash flow streams needed to keep a small local farm operational and running efficiently.
Ultimately, as the sun rises on Sunday morning, the local farmer’s market will continue into the foreseeable future, but why not capitalize on the new movement of online farmer’s market while it is still in its nascent stage. Farmers, promote yourselves. Promote your families and your communities, but most importantly make money and thrive while doing it!
Check out the video below created by Farmers to You (https://farmerstoyou.com/how_it_works.php) to learn more about Online Farmer’s Markets and the methodology behind them.