Nationwide Online System now Live for Farmers to Connect to New Markets
Chantelle Hougland, Business Development and Communication Strategist for Riverside Research, talks about the Food Market Maker program and their efforts to build an electronic infrastructure that would connect farmers with viable new markets.
“Food Market Maker has been developed for the past 10 years. It’s been a group of organizations universities, state departments of agriculture, who all came together to create a system to connect everyone along the food value chain from the producer all the way to the buyer. And just recently what we’ve done is we have opened up the system to expand from just 20 states into all 50 states which also includes California,” said Hougland.
The Food Market Maker program hopes to aid in the expansion of quality-driven food value chains, by reaching out to not only farmers but other entities as well.
“We are also looking for affiliate organizations, organizations that serve food producers and the value chain to work with us, to reach out to producers, to get them into our system.” said Hougland.
Hougland goes on to explain why the Food Market Maker program is not only beneficial to farmers, but the entire industry as a whole. Even consumers.
“I think we can reduce waste, we can help facilitate new markets, where we’re connecting demand with supply. For example, producers what to know what buyers want to buy. They want to know whether growing organic or some other means is actually going to produce them more money for them in the end,” said Hougland.
“If we can make those connections on the behalf of the farmers with the buyers, and help them understand better what they are doing and how much they can get for what they are doing, we might be able to expand the variety of foods that are available to consumers, the quality of food that’s available to consumers , and the flavorful and goodness of the food that’s available, while supporting farmers as well,” Hougland added.
And how is this program being funded?
“Well right now Riverside Research is doing that for us, so its a free system and its open to use for anyone,” said Hougland.
For more information, head to the Food Market Maker Website.