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Abstract

This study examines marketing strategies for small-scale producers by comparing the risk and return properties of direct (farmers’ markets) and wholesale marketing channels. Farmers’ market prices for fresh produce were collected at sixteen markets in Utah and Colorado. San Francisco terminal market prices were used to represent wholesale prices. A simulation model combined price, yield, and market risk to construct probability distribution functions showing the likelihood of differing levels of profit for eleven marketing options. The results show that risk-averse producers prefer a combination of channels (40% direct/60% wholesale), while risk neutral producers prefer to market exclusively through farmers’ markets.

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