Diversification of marketing strategies among small farms: empirical evidence from family farms in Taiwan
Farm marketing has been recognized as an important factor for a successful farm business. Due to the increasing interest of consumers in food safety, direct marketing of farm products to consumers in the local farmers’ markets has become very popular. Compared to traditional farm marketing channels, relatively little is known about the use of direct-to-consumer marketing strategies by farmers. This paper aims to provide a more comprehensive picture of farmers’ choices among available farm marketing channels using the case study of Taiwan. Using a population-based survey of 5600 family farms in Taiwan in 2014, in this study we quantify the extent to which demographic characteristics of farm operators, farm production and family conditions may influence the decision of farms to sell farm products to the government, wholesale markets, and in direct-to-consumer sales. We develop a trivariate probit model, and our results indicate that education level and engagement in the off-farm labour market of farm operators, the number of household members, farm size, land ownership, and the type of farm are the key factors in determining farmers’ choice of marketing channels. The findings of this study may have important implications for the design of more effective farm marketing programs by agricultural authorities.
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