MarketMaker’s Utility for Large Markets
About a year and a half ago the University of Arkansas’ Applied Sustainability Center began working with Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. and their Heritage Agriculture program, which has the goal of creating supply chain visibility between local and regional food sources supplying their stores. It was apparent that a tool would be necessary for buyers to locate and engage small- and medium-scale producers, we were thinking that some sort of internet-based platform would be the best way to go.
Imagine how delighted we were to find out that the necessary tool already existed, had a presence in several states with support of extension from land-grant universities and state departments of agriculture, and was free to all users! Large-scale buyers need a central location to find sources to supply their local food programs. Producers who might be interested in scaling up their marketing efforts need a user-friendly way to gain exposure to the new distribution opportunities we’re seeing with consumer interest in fresh, local and healthy foods.
The Applied Sustainability Center has launched a program we call Agile Agriculture to take advantage of the favorable conditions we are seeing for producers, distributors and consumers of agricultural products. Large, undifferentiated markets aren’t suitable for many small/medium scale producers, but with the right education and tools we see potentials for more of our smaller producers to supply these arenas and provide healthy, local and fresh products to consumers. MarketMaker is quickly gaining in importance as a tool to link producers and markets of all scales and we’re looking forward to watching this program develop.
Tags: Local/Regional Foods
This entry was posted on Thursday, September 3rd, 2009 at 3:45 pm and is filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.
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