Ag department programs promote Colorado produce

08/05/2010 03:09:52 PM
Susie Cable

Visitors to the site can search by type of business, food item, and details about items. A search produces a list of businesses with links to e-mail addresses, websites, maps and detailed information. Colorado Proud members have the program’s logo next to their business name.

MarketMaker users can search for market data from the U.S. Census and from other surveys. For example, with a few clicks, the site will bring up a state map featuring the dollar amounts of average home expenditures on fruits and vegetables. Another couple of clicks will display expenditure averages at the county level. Another search will add business locations to the map.

The site debuted last summer, but hasn’t been promoted extensively because it was still a work in progress, White said. Eventually, a MarketMaker training program and materials will be developed for state extension agents so they can train others to use the system.

Colorado MarketMaker is one of more than a dozen states that participate in the National MarketMaker Partnership.

Grower efforts

The Onion House LLC, Weslaco, Texas, ships Colorado-grown onions from Buffalo Packing, Olathe, Colo. Don Ed Holmes, owner, The Onion House, said the company is developing a new 40-pound carton to promote sweet and mild Colorado onions. He said he thinks local retail chains in Colorado are supportive of buying local.

Kinoshita said Fagerberg advertises in trade newspapers, but doesn’t do much else to promote its crops. It sells primarily to a loyal customer base, he said.

“We pride ourselves on service and quality,” he said. “We feel that they’ll keep coming back.”

Strohauer Farms, La Salle, Colo., advertises in a trade newspaper and at Produce Marketing Association’s Fresh Summit convention, said Harry Strohauer, president and owner.

Ringer & Son does some advertising, but most of its publicity is via word of mouth, Johnson said. It does most of its business with local customers, including local Kroger and Albertson’s locations.

Rogers Mesa also relies heavily on word of mouth publicity, Kinser said.

“Once (consumers) find that Colorado fruit is available, their mouths just water,” he said.

Colorado fruit sells because of its flavor, Gibson said.

“I think it’s our flavor,” he said. “With the cool nights and warm days, we produce good-tasting fruit.”


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