Marketing Channels Used by Small Tennessee Farmers Report as inadecuate

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One of the key challenges that small farmers face is marketing their products. National and internationalmarkets are difficult to tap into for small farmers due to their inability to compete withlarge farm operators that dominate these markets. The objective of this study was to examinemarketing channels used by small Tennessee Farmers.A mail survey was sent to 250 selected small farmers in Tennessee. Ninety-two completed responses,representing about 37% response rate, were received. Over half of the farmers had offfarm employment. Preliminary analysis showed that 40% used direct marketing; 23% wholesalers;16% retailers; 14% cooperatives and 4% contract.More educated farmers tended to avoid middlemen. Farmers operating animal enterprises appearto use middlemen more compared to crop producers. This may be due to feed and other costs involvedin maintaining animals. Farmers working off farm tended to use middlemen due to timeconstraint. Farmers that took risk chose direct marketing reflecting their willingness to acceptlower profit if sales do not go as planned. The use of cooperatives is limited indicating that itsformation and growth is dependent on mutual trust among the members. The use of contract by avery small percent of farmers may be a reflection of the challenge that small farmers face in generatinglarge volume of their products on a sustained basis which is usually demanded by buyers.

Keywords: Marketing Channels ; Small farmers ; Tennessee ; mail survey ; direct marketing

Subject(s): Agribusiness

Farm Management


Issue Date: 2012-03

Publication Type: Journal Article

PURL Identifier: Published in: Journal of Food Distribution Research, Volume 43, Number 1 Page range: 126-126

Total Pages: 1

Record appears in: Food Distribution Research Society > Journal of Food Distribution Research

Author: Tegegne, Fisseha ; Pasirayi, Simbarashe ; Singh, Surendra P. ; Ekanem, Enefiok P.


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