The biggest risk is getting your crop to market on time and at the right time, especially if you only have one day a week to sell.
Market gardener, NS
Market access risk depends greatly on the size and location of the farm, as well as the reputation and customer base established by the farmer. Itís important to determine how you are going to sell your product. Most organic farmers in Atlantic Canada sell directly to consumers with a small percentage having access to wholesale options. The low population and geographic dispersal of Atlantic Canada and the small volume of organic production present significant transportation and logistic challenges.
In areas that offer a number of direct marketing and wholesale opportunities (e.g. the Halifax region), market access risk is low. Higher risk is associated with areas that offer only one small venue for direct marketing of produce, usually one day a week, or limited access to wholesale markets. Factors cited that contribute to this risk were:
- A lack of available labour to harvest at larger-scale operations in time to access weekly markets.
- The increasing number of producers attempting to access markets in smaller areas.
- The significant time required to establish direct market channels for small-scale producers.
- Limited use/success of alternative methods such as Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) programs.
The following strategies and tactics can be employed to manage the risks associated with Market Access: