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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 beCartons of strawberries in chilled storage 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

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.