WSU Lincoln County Extension Educator Tom Platt says that in order to try and capture a little more profit for their business livestock producers might want to participate in the direct marketing of their product. The customer base for this is diverse.
PLATT: We have people that sell directly to neighbors for example. There are people that have internet sales, farmers market sales, wholesale to restaurants and grocery stores, and one person who spoke at our meeting last week actually has a small grocery store as part of their own business.
Platt talks about how producers determine what to charge customers for their product.
PLATT: Well, that’s another one of the risks, and of course there’s several factors. You have to be somewhat competitive, and you have to charge an amount of money that will ensure that you can make a profit - like any grocer would do, or wholesaler. There actually are some tools to break down the value of a carcass and price it so that you can come out with a profit in the end.
Food safety is obviously a big point to consider when direct marketing meat.
PLATT: Yeah, that’s one of the risks that a livestock producer would undertake if they decide to sell meat is they then have all the food safety risk and the liability from that. You have to be square with Washington State - the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Health in the way that you handle product and store it. And then of course all the product has to be processed at a USDA inspected processing plant.
Keen interest in a series of four direct marketing meat workshops offered by WSU Extension this year have prompted Platt to consider one time workshops for the future, as well as internet accessible information that farmers and ranchers could view at home according to their time schedules.
I’m Lacy Gray and that’s Washington Ag Today on the Ag Information Network.