We already know the many great reasons why we should buy directly from a Farmers Market and roadside stand. Cathy Isom tells you how your dollars spent at a Farmers Market may actually be helping more than just the local farmer or rancher. That’s coming up on This Land of Ours.
by Shermain Hardesty, Libby O. Christensen, Erin McGuire, Gail Feenstra, Chuck Ingels, Jim Muck, Julia Boorinakis-Harper, Cindy Fake & Scott Oneto
Consumers often cite supporting the local economy as a reason why they purchase locally produced foods. To find out whether there is such an impact, and if there is, how much it amounts to, our University of California Cooperative Extension team interviewed producers engaged in direct marketing to measure the economic impact of local food marketing in the Sacramento Region (El Dorado, Placer, Sacramento and Yolo counties). Our key findings indicate that, for every dollar of sales, Sacramento Region direct marketers are generating twice as much economic activity within the region, as compared to producers who are not involved in direct marketing.
- Sacramento Region direct market producers averaged $164,631 in sales per producer, ranging from $2,141 to $4,620,000. Sales for producers in the region who were not engaged in direct marketing averaged $568,105, which is more than triple that of the region’s direct marketers.
- Of the direct market producers’ total revenues, 44 percent were generated through direct channels, 55 percent through wholesale channels, and one percent in commodity markets.
- Sixty-five percent of the producers’ direct-to-consumer sales were generated in the Bay Area, 30 percent in the Sacramento Region and five percent in other parts of the state or outside of California.
- Seventy-three percent of the direct marketers also sold through wholesale channels. Overall, their largest revenue channel was distributors with 30 percent of total sales, followed by farmers markets (16%), Community Supported Agriculture (14%), grocers (13%), and farmstands (9%). Similarly to direct-to-consumer most of the wholesale activity was in the Bay Area.
- The direct market producers’ annual production and marketing expenses averaged $155,235 in 2013. Expenses of the producers in the Sacramento Region who are not engaged in direct marketing averaged $214,486, which is 39 percent higher.