Stronger Together: Strategies for Cooperatively Marketing Your Agricultural Products
By Chhaya Kolavalli
An agricultural cooperative, or “farmers’ co-op” is a cooperative model where farmers pool their resources in certain areas of activity. There are two main types of agricultural cooperatives:
1- Agricultural Service Cooperatives – provide services such as marketing and supplies to their farmer members.
2- Agricultural Production Cooperatives – farmer members pool together to share production resources, such as land and machinery. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) offers a more detailed definition of agricultural cooperatives in their Cooperative Statistics 2013 Report at: http://www.rd.usda.gov/publications/publications-cooperatives.
In this guide, we use the word “cooperative” to refer specifically to agricultural marketing cooperatives, a type of service cooperative through which farmers work collaboratively to market their products.
Cooperative marketing groups can help farmers more efficiently access a broader range of markets, and may reduce risk for both farmer and consumer. Because cooperatives are user-owned and user-controlled by members who collectively participate in business decisions, the success of a cooperative depends largely on the involvement and interest of its members. Fortunately, as co-owners, members inherently have a shared interest in their cooperative’s success…
To learn more about the benefits, challenges, strategies, and resources for marketing agricultural products through cooperatives, CLICK HERE to print or download the Kansas Rural Center’s Strategies for Cooperatively Marketing Your Agricultural Products.
This document is an excerpt from Finding Your Niche, A Marketing Guide for Kansas Farms, published in January 2013 by the Kansas Rural Center. You may CLICK HERE to view the guide’s full Table of Contents and print or download other resource documents.
To receive a printed and bound copy of the 200+ page guide, please order here or contact the Kansas Rural Center at 785-873-3431. A limited number of copies are available for a suggested fee of $25 to help cover printing, shipping and handling costs.