Going Digital

Farmers markets in Oregon are embracing e-commerce in response to COVID-19, reports KTVZ:

“Farmers markets are an excellent source of local Oregon food, and while most remain open in their physical locations, many markets have responded to consumer demand by also adding online pre-order systems for their shoppers. This is an opportunity for consumers to support local businesses and preserve the farmers market industry, which serves communities across the state.”

Maturing Market

At NPR, Luke Runyon explains how farmers market sales are slowing—and why that might be a good thing:

“Farmers markets may be a good marketing tool for a small farm, but they can be onerous to prepare for, with slim profit margins, says Sarah Low, a USDA economist and lead author on the report.

“Because of that Low says farms are increasingly using middlemen to sell to restaurants, grocery stores and distributors. With an increasing share of their produce, dairy or meat going to those channels, some farmers may choose to forgo the farmers market.

“‘It’s just not as cost-effective for producers to be face-to-face with consumers,’ Low says. ‘A lot of farmers like to spend their time farming, not necessarily marketing food.'”