Making Direct to Consumer Sales Work

My family and I operate Cold Springs Ranch, a 100% grass fed beef operation in Maine. We purchased the farm ten years ago and have been growing steadily since then. We operate what we describe as a co-op system with three cow/calf farms that sell their calves to us. We raise the animals from 9-10 months of age until they are finished and we handle processing and marketing. We market around 140 animals every year and are targeting to expand to around 200 animals annually. We sell approximately 65% of our beef to retail stores, 10% to restaurants, 10% to schools, and 15% direct to consumers. We process beef 52 weeks a year and deliver fresh beef to our retail, restaurant, and school customers weekly. All direct sales are frozen. Here are some of the keys to our success that might help you as well: Competing Where I Can Win My processing costs are over three times that of large beef production models so I don’t try to compete with them. Their market is built on high volume and low margins. This makes competing with it high risk unless you can make gigantic up front investments with a long-term payout. Instead, I focus on serving customers who value locally produced food. I do believe there is a growing demand for locally produced premium product lines. If we as farmers and ranchers want to break out of our current production system and economic model we need to inn

All the grazing management tips you need

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