Posts Tagged: marketing
Take the creative and collaborative minds of students studying design and entomology at the University of California, Davis. Add an innovative...
Graphic design examples by UC Davis student Emily Liu comprise her business system revolving around crickets: "Chirpies."
Silkscreen work hanging on a wire. It will be displayed June 6 at an art exhibit from 6 to 8 p.m. in the Environmental Horticulture courtyard.
Demonstrating the silkscreen process are Gale Okumura (back) and Diane Ullman, partially seen.
The 100 miles between the agricultural fields that surround Davis, Sacramento and the Sierra Foothhills and the culinarily rich city of San Francisco can seem vast to farmers who lack the connections needed to market their produce to Bay Area buyers.
That gap was bridged this week for a group of 25 small, beginning and ethnic farmers when the Agricultural Sustainability Institute (ASI) at UC Davis and the Sacramento County UC Cooperative Extension hosted a day-long bus tour that began in Sacramento early Tuesday morning. Farmers boarded a bus bound for the Bay Area, where they met wholesale food buyers.
“Many buyers are eager to meet small-scale farmers who can supply the rapidly expanding market for locally grown food,” said David Visher of the Agricultural Sustainability Institute at UC Davis.
Emma Torbert of Cloverleaf Farm was pleased to find that to be true.
“It was nice for farmers to hear how much interest there is in San Francisco,” she said. “It can be nerve-racking to try to sell something to someone you don’t know. This was great, because the tour created an environment to talk about this sort of thing.”
Doors into the Bay Area market have already opened for Emma.
“I’ve had people calling me back already to buy my produce,” she said.
Interest in locally produced food is growing nationwide, according to Gail Feenstra of the UC Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program, a program within ASI.
“Food is an important part of our concept of community. People want a relationship with local growers because their food nurtures us. They feed our sense of community and also steward the land in our region. I think people are searching for ways to connect around food because it benefits our personal, economic and environmental health.”
As the group headed west toward their first stop at the San Francisco Wholesale Produce Market to hear from various buyers, Visher and fellow tour organizer Chuck Ingels, a UC Cooperative Extension farm advisor and the interim county director for Sacramento County, shared a food safety/ self audit CD created by UC Cooperative Extension. The project staff also helps farmers create an action plan for marketing their produce and works with them one-on-one to write a profile about their farm.
“We can help growers tell their stories and make good-value propositions to buyers, but it’s really up to these business people to make their own deals,” Visher said.
The institute, Laura Tourte, a UC Cooperative Extension farm advisor for Santa Cruz County, and Santa Clara County Farm Advisor Aziz Baameur will host a second tour Tuesday, Nov. 5. Farmers on Tuesday’s tour will leave for San Francisco from Watsonville at 5:15 a.m. and San Martin 6:15 a.m. The group will visit a wholesale distributor, food hub, distribution/processing facility, grocery store and Stanford dining services, where they will have lunch.
The Small Ethnic Farmer Tour Project is funded by CoBank, a national cooperative bank, and three farm credit associations: Farm Credit West, American AgCredit, and Farm Credit Services of Colusa-Glenn.
To register for the tour out of Watsonville and San Martin call (831) 763-8040 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Space is limited. There is a $20 fee to hold a space on the tour. That fee is fully refunded upon boarding the tour bus. Spanish language translation is available.
Bill Fujimoto Diablo Foods (3)
While 77 percent of moms associate fruits and vegetables with good health, purchase intent remains flat at 45 percent, according the Produce for Better Health Foundation’s annual survey of mothers with children age 10 and under,.reported Mike Hornick in The Packer.
Roberta Cook, UC Cooperative Extension specialist in the Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics at the UC Davis, participated in the foundation's annual meeting. she attributed the discrepancy to promotion of specific types of produce.
“One of the problems in our industry is a decline in generic promotion,” she said. “As grower-shippers become larger, they have wanted to take dollars spent on generic marketing internal. They feel they can use it better within their company.
“But that’s not really what the results show us. The mandated programs are trying to expand the total pie,” Cook said. “Because they bring greater dollars together than an individual company can, they can invest in understanding consumers.”/span>
The “locavore diet” originally focused on supporting small farms and protecting the environment, says the blog Triple Pundit, however, large grocery store chains and big box discount stores are now writing their own definitions of “local.”
Their definitions include:
- Grown and sold in the same state - Walmart
- Grown within an eight-hour drive of the store - Safeway
- Grown within one day’s drive - Whole Foods
- Produced either in that state or that region of the US - Krogers
- Grown in regions as broad as four or five states - Supervalu (Albertsons, Lucky)
The Triple Pundit post, written by Lesley Lammers, was prompted by an article in the Wall Street Journal published earlier this month. The WSJ withholds most of its content for subscribers only. But Triple Pundit, quoting the Journal, said such loose definitions have sparked criticism from small farmers and organic-food advocates that the chains are just capitalizing on the latest food trend, rather than making real changes in their procurement practices.
Lammers suggests usage of the term “local” may be a passing marketing phrase for the retail food industry that may soon be supplanted with “seasonal.” However, with consumers shopping for tomatoes even in the dark days of winter, even the term “seasonal” raises questions.
Director of the UC Agricultural Issues Center at UC Davis, Daniel Sumner, told the Wall Street Journal, “I really don’t think Wal-Mart is going to tell customers, ‘This is not in season, you have to eat cabbage and turnips for the next three months.’ ”
Retailers are writing their own definitions of local.
Solano County growers will gather this afternoon in Fairfield to learn how they can participate in the Solano Grown direct marketing program, according to a press release distributed by the county's news office. The article was picked up by the Vacaville Reporter.
Solano Grown was initiated in February 2010 by the Solano County Agriculture Department and University of California Cooperative Extension with a $50,000 grant from the USDA Marketing Services Agency. Local farmers will benefit from a Solano Grown website, promotional materials and advertising at no cost. The website will list farmers' products, hours of operation, contact information and links to their websites.
A key component of Solano Grown is a colorful logo, based on box label designs of the late 1800s and early 1900s, the release said. The logo's blue base is a reference to the San Joaquin-Sacramento Delta; rolling hills and a bold banner identify the county.
By selecting produce marketed under the Solano Grown brand, local consumers will be helping sustain Solano's agricultural heritage.
The USDA grant will cover the program's startup costs, however,the continuing success of the Solano Grown effort will depend on the development of a member-supported marketing organization, the release said.