Shifting Markets During COVID-19
- Contact all potential buyers (farmers market managers, grocery buyers, distributors,
farm-to-school programs, restaurants, etc.) to determine if they have increased demand
for local food or if they plan to close markets due to social distancing recommendations.
- Communicate with your individual consumers through social media or a website (if applicable)
about any changes in your food or market availability.
- Consider moving your food sales online and offer drive through pickup services or delivery when possible. To cover any cost increases, implement a special fee for pickup and deliver. Need help selecting an eCommerce platform for your operation? Check out this report of platforms rated by farmers from the CSA Innovation Network.
- Offer “social marketing” – Selling on Facebook or Instagram or other social platformsfor
pickup or delivery. Whether you are a restaurant or a grocery store, tools like Instagram Live or Facebook
Live can be an effective way to communicate to your customers.
- Engage with your customers by letting them know that you are still here and what you
are doing to combat COVID-19. Consumers need to be reassured by their retailers that health and sanitation are a top priority.
- Farms and food businesses may find posting daily hours, menus, food available for purchase and carry-out or delivery options aid in bringing customers to your business while still being able to maintain social distancing.
Opportunities in the Local Food Supply Chain
Arkansas COVID-19 Food Access Map
Our partners at the Arkansas Agriculture Department have developed a food access map that shares school feeding programs, school and community gardens, food pantries,
and more. Find options in your community here.
Selling Cottage Food During a Pandemic
Read the following blog post from the Arkansas Public Policy Center for guidance on how to sell your Cottage Food product.
Unsure of what is considered a cottage food product as defined by state law? Visit our Cottage Food page to learn more about what is considered a cottage food product in Arkansas.