Marin Organics Cooperative Marketing Program

Project Overview

Project Type: Farmer/Rancher
Funds awarded in 2003: $13,500.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2003
Region: Western
State: California
Principal Investigator:
Warren Weber
Star Route Farms


  • Agronomic: corn
  • Fruits: apples, melons, pears
  • Vegetables: artichokes, peppers, tomatoes
  • Animal Products: meat


  • Crop Production: organic fertilizers
  • Education and Training: extension, networking, workshop
  • Farm Business Management: cooperatives, marketing management
  • Soil Management: organic matter
  • Sustainable Communities: new business opportunities

    Proposal summary:

    The recent advent of “industrial organic” agriculture has placed small organic farmers at a competitive disadvantage. In addition to competing with these heavily capitalized operations, the small farmers still face rising costs for certification, advertising, promotion and labeling. Marin Organics, a cooperative that includes 18 of Marin County’s 23 organic farmers, will use the Western SARE marketing grant to launch its Marin Organic labels as a way to compete with the big boys. Members, with the help of part-time staff, will continue to produce marketing and advertising tools like banners, brochures and point-of-purchase consumer information as well as implement an outreach program targeting independent and natural food retailers. They will also design consumer pieces on the advantages of locally grown and processed food, sponsor farmer-to-farmer educational workshops and reach out to conventional farmers.

    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.