The goal of this report is to provide the Somali Bantu Community Mutual Assistance Association of Lewiston-Auburn’s (SBCMALA) community farming program with market research about the potential market pathways the farmers can take to sell their produce. Our aim is to present many market options and potential buyers that may be suitable for SBCMALA to explore in the near and far future. We will also outline the ways in which they can successfully accomplish this goal. In our report, we have showed the differences between market pathways and potential buyers and provided information about the specific standards and requirements of each specific buyer. Our intention is to provide a report that will be both informative and useful for SBCMALA in their search to grow to sell to new markets.
We performed our research through reading scholarly literature, reading market reports, performing interviews with key informants, speaking with potential buyers, and reading the websites of potential partners.
Our results outline: the market pathways SBCMALA is either currently taking or could take in the future, the specific standards and requirements outlined by each potential buyer, which market options are available to SBCMALA depending on the resources they have or choose to obtain, and the ways in which SBCMALA can obtain necessary resources needed to sell to certain markets.
Our recommendations are:
- More market research is needed.
- SBCMALA should appoint someone (a staff member or volunteer) to manage marketing.
- A detailed written or online report should be kept of SBCMALA’s produce, including how much produce is grown, sold, donated, or kept for farmers’ consumption.
- SBCMALA should compose written agreements with all future partners.
- SBCMALA should continue to pursue communication with the potential partners we have already made connections with.
- When pursuing communication with potential partners, SBCMALA should refer to our list of questions to ask buyers.
- SBCMALA should sell in whichever markets they desire; they can grow and expand as they see fit!
Cook, Katherine; Marr, Anna; and Traquina, Katherine, "SBCMALA Community Farming Program: Market Research" (2016). Community Engaged Research Reports. 37.