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Organic farm: Marketing your produce

Think about how you are going to market your produce to give yourself the best chance of achieving the highest possible prices for it. The control body that you register with is likely to produce information on how best to market your produce. For example, The Soil Association, which is the largest control body in the UK, produces fact sheets that are available to its members. You can find out more on the Soil Association website.

There are different channels that you could market your produce through and you could choose to use one of these exclusively or opt to use a mixture. They include:

  • using the wholesale trade
  • joining a producer group or co-operative to give you greater power when selling to supermarkets and large processors
  • selling through local retailers
  • selling at farmers' markets or through your own farm shop
  • selling to local restaurants and other catering establishments
  • selling direct to the customer through your own website or by mail order
  • setting up regular deliveries to customers through an organic box scheme

You may also decide to process your produce in some way so as to add value to it. While this may not be viable for you (lack of time or space, for example) the potential profits that can be made from doing this are very attractive. Some ways of adding value include:

  • butchering livestock. You could do this yourself if you have the necessary qualifications or pay the abattoir to do it. Packaged individual joints and poultry (maybe with the addition of herbs, stuffings or sauces) are likely to prove popular with customers and attract a significant price premium
  • making meat products such as sausages and pies
  • making vegetables and fruit ready for the table (by washing and trimming them)
  • making cheese, ice-cream, yoghurt and other dairy products

However, as the cost of installing the necessary equipment, obtaining qualifications and taking on extra staff to carry out food processing can be high, you should do as much market research as you can to ensure that there is a market for your products.

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