DIRECT MARKETING CONFERENCE CONNECTS MANITOBA FARMERS WITH CONSUMERS
Manitoba farmers and food processors interested in connecting with consumers to start or expand a direct farm marketing business will benefit from informative workshops and expert speakers at the 22nd annual Direct Farm Marketing Conference, Federal Agriculture Minister Lawrence MacAulay and Manitoba Agriculture Minister Ralph Eichler announced today.
“Our government is pleased to support the Direct Farm Marketing Conference, where farmers and food processors can exchange ideas and best practices to grow their businesses,” said MacAulay. “By working together, farmers and food processors are taking advantage of new market opportunities and building a stronger Canadian economy.”
The conference takes place March 10 and 11 at the Access Event Centre in Morden and is funded in part by Growing Forward 2, a five-year federal-provincial-territorial policy framework to advance the agriculture industry. This year’s keynote speaker, Mark Evans, will focus on how the story of a product can differentiate it in a crowded marketplace and help attract target customers. Local expert Susie Erjavec Parker will lead a session on how farmers and direct marketers can use social media to build their businesses and create relationships with customers.
“Manitoba’s farmers and food processors have a story to tell, one that is compelling, full of new ideas and opportunity for growth,” said Eichler. “This conference continues to be a unique opportunity for established direct marketers and those who are considering this business model to get together, learn from each other and come away with practical tools and resources.”
Other workshops will focus on strawberry and sweet potato research focused on Manitoba’s growing conditions; how to enter the province’s organic food sector; rules and programs for new and growing food product marketers; what chefs are looking for when purchasing local food; the opportunities created by agri-tourism; beekeeping; and holistic farm management. There are also panel discussions on vegetable and meat marketing, featuring Manitobans sharing their experiences and lessons learned.
The Direct Farm Marketing Conference is a partnership of the Manitoba government and the Prairie Fruit Growers Association (PFGA). It is also supported by Direct Farm Manitoba, which represents markets and farmers who sell directly to consumers and will be holding its annual meeting during the conference.
“We are very excited to offer the 2017 Direct Farm Marketing Conference,” said Angie Cormier, PFGA executive director. “With the agenda, speakers and venue we have lined up in Morden, the conference is sure to provide something of value for all Manitoba producers and processors.”
Full conference registration is $150. More information about the conference and registration is available from Manitoba Agriculture offices, by calling 204-821-5322 or online at www.directfarmmarketing.com.
The federal and provincial governments are investing $176 million in Manitoba under Growing Forward 2. For more information, visit www.gov.mb.ca/agriculture under Growing Forward 2.
For more information on Manitoba’s agricultural programs and services, follow the Twitter account at www.twitter.com/MBGovAg.