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Abstract

An investigation of the relative costs and benefits of marketing channels used by typical small-scale diversified vegetable crop producers is conducted. Using case study evidence from four small farms in Central New York, this study compares the performance of wholesale and direct marketing channels, including how the factors of risk, owner and paid labor, price, lifestyle preferences, and sales volume interact to impact optimal market channel selection. Given the highly perishable nature of the crops grown, along with the risks and potential sales volume of particular channels, a combination of different marketing channels is needed to maximize overall firm performance. Accordingly, a ranking system is developed to summarize the major firm-specific factors across channels and to prioritize those channels with the greatest opportunity for success based on individual firm preferences.

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