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The most important factor for the success of any business is sales, including in agriculture. We often see that many problems revolve around agricultural production and the inability to sell adequately at a profitable price.
Farmers can sell their crops on a farmer’s market, they can supply shops and restaurants, and even sell their products online. Most farmers use a combination of these methods, while some will deliver their goods directly to customers.
Achieving a profitable business should be the goal of any farm production. Agricultural products, especially crops, are extremely in demand at all times. New farmers must get familiar with the ways of selling their products and how to place them on the market.
How do farmers sell their crops?
Farmers have many possibilities to sell their crops. They can sell it directly to the customer, or offer their goods to small stores and restaurants. The most popular one is the farmer’s market, where some farmers even have regular customers. Plenty of farmers combine most of these methods to succeed.
Bigger farms use a middle man to sell their products. ‘Middle man’ is a distributor who takes farmers’ crops and sells them to restaurants, shops, and markets. They use this method because they have a large range of products and don’t have time to distribute them by themselves. This also helps with the difficulties of finding new buyers and customers.
Farmers must maintain a good image. Properly cleaning products is a way of maintaining regular customers. High-quality products increase the chance of returning customers. Farmers also preserve their relationships with customers by explaining how they grew their crops.
A good way of selling on farms is a method called ‘Pick your crops’. This means that customers visit a farm and pick the products they wish to buy. This can save farmers from transportation and labor costs.
Selling crops depends on the demand for the product. Crops, like vegetables, can be sold directly in the market, or they can be stored locally. Crops are very perishable, if they are not sold on time, they are considered as wasted harvest. This can set back the farmers because the cost of water, land, and labor cannot be refunded.
Farmers will mostly sell their crops on a cart, nearby markets, and busy places. They will also contact small farm shops and see how they can place their products on the shelves. The first step farmers make in selling is directly on their land. They can post a stand with products, organize pickups, or even set up a small shop.
Local schools also had the initiative to connect with farmers. The main goal is that children eat fresh and healthy vegetables. Some farmers will even give a chance to let children visit the farm and get them to know how they work and produce.
Best places for farmers to sell their crops
The first step farmers make to start selling is selling to friends and family. This is a common way to start and perfect direct sales.
The Farmers Market is the most common and popular way of selling crops. Their biggest strength is that they are easily established and are simple to work with. Farmers look for local markets and contact the organizer to sell their products. It is stress-free work once farmers establish regular customers.
On the market, farmers get paid directly for products, which is sometimes not the case when they provide for shops and restaurants. They are the perfect way to build relationships with customers because farmers have direct contact with them.
Delivering good to shops, restaurants and even customers are good for having a reliable income. A lot of farmers usually focus on smaller shops, run by families. Farmers will build a base of customers and establish a delivery route. This also helps farmers to be more diverse. If a farmer is focused on producing only a few crops, he can expand his production based on demand.
Providing for a restaurant is another great way to sell crops. Farmers will commonly have a wide range of crops, instead of focusing on just a few. This shows restaurant owners that farmers have the skills to grow and maintain lots of vegetables. Farmers usually go directly to the owners and negotiate for the production of their crops. Every restaurant wants to have fresh crops.
Can farmers sell their crops online?
Unable to sell their goods in the market or at least in the open, farmers have ‘switched’ their stalls to the internet. Many have started social media advertising on their own.
Farmers can sell their products online. The internet provides many websites for farmers to sell their goods. There are online marketplaces where farmers can put up their products. Some grocery stores have an online shop, so if a farmer provides them, they can gain profit from online sales.
Small farms owned by families took an approach from social media. Used also to gain customers, farmers can put up photos of their products and claim a price for them. Bigger farms tend to build their websites used for selling products. Farmers will use online marketplaces to avoid building a website.
Personal web stores take a more personal approach than online marketplaces. Personal websites are for their use only, with no direct competition. On websites, farmers can show pictures and prices of the products and present methods of buying and delivering. Websites are also a great way for farmers to show their customers how they produce crops and who produces them.
However, online sales carry certain challenges, especially for those who are encountering online sales for the first time. One of the biggest problems in agriculture is the dilemma of buyers whether they will get healthy and fresh products. It takes time for customers to believe that they will always get the best products.
Farmers generally have a limited amount of products for a limited time – they do not have constantly available products throughout the year. This means that before and after the products appear, it is necessary to be present online and communicates with potential buyers, to gain the trust that will be used when agricultural products become relevant.
There are even online delivery systems that provide farmers to ship their products to customers. Yet, some farmers avoid these methods, because they are not familiar with the delivery system and don’t know when the package will arrive at the customer.
Best online places for farmers to sell their crops
Many use the power of social media to sell their crops. Social media are a great way for farmers to get to know their audience and buyers. Most commonly used by farmers is Facebook. Farmers like to frequently present and post about their products. Facebook marketplace is a dominating online market in the world with a wide range of products.
Agro-Market24 is an online marketplace where many have the option to buy and sell agricultural goods. The platform is used for easy communication between buyers and sellers. This platform offers a wide range of agricultural products with free use of service. Agro-Market24 offers farmers to write specifications about a product and even chat with other users.
Another online place is Crop spot. Crop spot provides an online market for farmers. They require registration and then contact the farmers to assist them in the creation of a sale advertisement. Farmers can even find buyers and traders locally.
Graze Cart also offers farmers an online platform to sell their drops. They offer a selling place for farmers who produce milk and dairy, meat, and vegetables. They also offer a website builder for farmers. Farmers can even sell via pickup location; in which they provide a delivery schedule. Selling by shipping is another feature and farmers can even use this option only.
Best apps for selling crops online
1. Farmers e-market
Farmers e-market is a website and an app that allows farmers to display and sell their products. Reviews say the app is easy to use and find the best prices for the products.
2. Ripe Near Me
This app was started to connect buyers with sellers. It helps farmers sell their goods especially if their goods sometimes go to waste. Ripe Near Me is free to use and can be used internationally.
Vithai app serves as an online market for buying and selling crops directly from farmers to customers. The app allows buyers to communicate directly with the sellers with an online chat. This app also provides both retail and wholesale buyers and sellers.