Exploring New Market Channels

Grocery retailers, chefs, institutions, and other food buyers are looking for local product and they want to buy local. Yet, when it comes to buying from farmers and small food processors, they say there's often a gap between what they need, when they need it, and how they do business.

Looking to learn more about different sales channels, how they work and how to decide which channel(s) may be best for their business? Consider these two learning opportunities:

  1. Selling Food to Ontario Workshops

    Organized in collaboration with community organizations, these full-day workshops are catered to the learning needs of local farmers and food entrepreneurs. Past workshop topics have included: Market Channel Primer, Basics of Food Regulation, Food Safety, Consumer Trends, Costing & Pricing, Getting on the Retail Shelf, Food Labelling Requirements, Setting Up a Food Premise, and Local Resource Panel. Workshops are intended to provide a "one-stop-shop" for information that is often challenging for food entrepreneurs to navigate. Contact the Agricultural Information Contact Centre (AICC) at the phone or email below to find out if there is an upcoming workshop in your area.

  2. Selling Beyond the Farm Gate Online Learning

    Selling Beyond the Farm Gate is designed to meet the needs of producers who are expanding from direct market sales into sales to retail and distributor accounts. You may be expanding your product line with new items, exploring new value-added items, or increasing the volume of what you already produce. You may be adding a few new markets where you are not meeting the customers directly, or you may be re-orienting your marketing strategy to sell through distributors. You may already know what new marketing channels you plan to approach but need to develop marketing materials and set prices. Or you may be in the exploration stage.

    Each situation is unique; the modules are designed to be flexible, to meet the needs of producers at different stages and with different goals. The six modules are:

    1. Identifying Your Market
    2. Setting Prices for Your Market
    3. Planning for Your Market
    4. Business Planning for Expansion
    5. Managing the Finances for Expansion
    6. Implementing Your Marketing Plan

The Selling Beyond the Farmgate course is a project of the Local Food and Farm Co-operative network (LFFC) with input from the Agri-food Management Institute's (AMI) and LFFC's extensive network of partners.


For more information:
Toll Free: 1-877-424-1300
E-mail: ag.info.omafra@ontario.ca

Author: Jessica Kelly, Direct Farm Marketing Specialist/OMAFRA
Creation Date: 11 January 2017
Last Reviewed: 26 July 2018