Once upon a time farmers knew that to convert their products to cash, they had to market what they produced; however they had little expertise and probably put little thought into the way to go about this.
On the other hand, many U.S. farmers have lived through periods when they thought of themselves as anything but marketers.
However as the sustainable agriculture movement has caught on, producers have come to realize they will succeed or fail based on marketing skills. Fortunately, in this modern day, they can find marketing assistance and resources to assist them.
South Carolina food producers who want to learn how to sell products directly to restaurant chefs and retail managers are invited to attend a South Carolina Market Ready training workshop on Thursday, August 30. The workshop will be held from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Clemson Extension Johnny M. Shelley Agriculture Facility, 1949 Industrial Park Rd., Conway, South Carolina.
"Growing interest in locally grown has fueled demand by restaurant chefs and foodservice managers for local products," says Hugh Weathers, Commissioner of Agriculture. "This increase in demand for local has created a great opportunity for food producers looking for new markets."
To offer the program Clemson Cooperative Extension Service and the South Carolina Department of Agriculture have partnered. The program teaches participants the most effective ways to build relationships with restaurants, grocers, wholesalers and food service buyers. Information is wide-ranging and covers proper packaging and labeling, marketing strategies, pricing structures, regulatory concerns and current food policy legislation will also be provided.
SCDA says the Market Ready workshop is an ideal training ground for food producers of fruits and vegetables, meats, seafood, dairy, poultry, and specialty food products to learn how to capture some of the restaurant and foodservice market.
Pre-registration is required to ensure there will be sufficient lunch and materials. Cost for participation in the program is $60 per person. The workshop includes refreshments, lunch, training workbooks and reference materials.
For more information, contact Blake Lanford, Horry County Extension Service, 843-365-6715, ext. 115.