Marketing to the Department of Defense Food Service
Small farmer cooperatives in the South contribute more than just farm production to society. However, it is becoming increasingly difficult for small farmer cooperatives with limited resources to survive in today’s dynamic agricultural environment. As farm policies demand a turn toward a more business-like approach small farmer cooperatives, especially limited resource farmer cooperatives, must consider alternative enterprises and more innovative ways of marketing their products.
Market development programs and resources are critical to bolster the marketing opportunities for small farmer cooperatives, especially limited resource farmer cooperatives. Therefore, profitable markets are critical to survival for this segment of the farm population.
This producer grant project has three objectives. The first objective will involve conducting market analysis of the Department of Defense food service program. Research activities will involve identifying the potential Defense market and determining resources and infrastructure needs to access such a market. This objective will primarily serve as an information collection and analysis phase. The second objective will involve conducting an applied research method utilizing a cooperative entity. The results found in the information collection and analysis phase will be used to test market selected defense markets. Finally, the third objective will involve analyzing the results of the markets and the applied research model to determine whether the Defense markets are indeed a viable and sustainable market alternative for small, limited resource farmer cooperatives.