The specialized farm-to-consumer marketplace is growing in popularity, but both farmers and consumers still sometimes have difficulty finding each other. Direct marketing through farmers markets and local word-of-mouth is one way to for producers and customers to match up. FarmMatch.com is another way.
FarmMatch.com is a map-based online matching service that helps buyers and sellers of farm products in the U.S. easily locate one another, providing free advertising for those selling farm products (including farms, buying clubs, farmers markets, and restaurants) and allowing consumers to locate and communicate with multiple providers regarding the products they want to purchase. Because it is map-based, it is easy for consumers to find local producers.
But, FarmMatch.com is more than just a link between existing producers and consumers. It is also a handy way for consumers to let producers know which types of products they are demanding – which, in turn, allows producers to rise up to fill that demand.
If you’re a farmer or food producer, putting yourself on the map provides you with free advertising to a targeted audience. If you’re a consumer, you can find great sources of high-quality local food and let producers know what you want.
Consumers who want to buy locally-produced meat, vegetables, fruit, honey, dairy, or other farm products can find those products on Farm Match.com . By setting up a consumer profile, the consumer plays at least two important roles in the local food system:
- Consumer participation lets local producers know which products consumers wish to purchase (increasing the likelihood that a supplier will rise up to fill that demand).
- Numbers matter to policy makers seeking re-election; this is a way to show them that their constituents really do want food freedom. By populating the Farm Match map with demand-side information, consumers are telling policy makers that they want the government to stop hindering them from being able to choose which farm products they can purchase and from whom.
To participate in this free matching service, simply visit Farm Match.com and create a profile. If consumers wish to keep their identities private, they may do so.