Is e-commerce right for your farm? To help farmers answer this question, the University of Tennessee Center for Profitable Agriculture will conduct “E-commerce for Direct Farm Marketers” workshops in Memphis on April 18, 2017, and in Jonesborough, on May 9.
The e-commerce workshops are designed to give direct marketing farms and agritourism operations an overview of the basic concepts and options for selling products online. The workshops provide information on software options for online farmers markets, online marketplaces, social media platforms, business websites, and event ticket sales.
The workshops will feature presentations from direct marketing enterprises in Tennessee who use e-commerce to market their products and improve their operating efficiencies.
“Several e-commerce software options are designed specifically for the needs of direct farm marketers, are easy to implement and use, and are economically priced. Producers do not need extensive knowledge in computer programming to incorporate e-commerce into their marketing strategy,” says Chuck Grigsby from the Center for Profitable Agriculture.
A recent study conducted by the Food Marketing Institute and Nielsen estimates that online grocery sales could rise from their current levels of approximately 4 percent to account for as much as 25 percent of total food and beverage sales by the year 2025.
“The growing popularity of online grocery shopping and direct delivery food services targeting the convenience-driven and health-conscious consumer presents local producers with a unique opportunity to incorporate e-commerce into their marketing activities,” says Grigsby.
In addition to the educational sessions, the Memphis workshop includes a tour of a local food hub that uses e-commerce software to sell and distribute locally produced foods to retail and wholesale customers in the Memphis area. The workshop in Jonesborough replaces the food hub tour with two special business strategy trainings on digital branding and digital storytelling for local food producers.
Both workshops will be held from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. local time. Registration is required for the Memphis workshop by April 13. Registration is required for the Jonesborough workshop by May 4.
Pre-registration and pre-payment of $20 per person per event registration is required. Lunch will be provided. Workshop location information will be emailed to registered participants the week prior to the workshops. Register online now here.
Funding for these workshops has been provided, in part, through the Southern Extension Risk Management Education Center and the United States Department of Agriculture. These workshops fulfill a Tennessee Agricultural Enhancement Program (TAEP) requirement in only the Producer Diversification Sectors: Fruits and Vegetables, Agritourism, and Value-Added.
For more information about these workshop, visit the website for the Center for Profitable Agriculture. Look for a link under the “educational events” menu.