In recent years, and most recently due to the COVID-19 pandemic, agricultural direct marketing has seen a resurgence in popularity as customers seek out more locally produced fresh foods. According to the 2017 USDA Ag Census, the value of food sold directly from Maryland farms to consumers doubled from $28 million in 2012 to $54 million in 2017.
Direct marketing can provide many advantages to farm operators but will likely also present legal challenges. Legal specialists at the Agriculture Law Education Initiative (ALEI) developed the Legal Guide to Direct Farm Marketing for Maryland Produce Growers to assist growers who are beginning, pivoting to, or expanding direct marketing activities to understand their compliance requirements and potential liability exposure.
Producers will learn about the legal aspects of direct marketing and receive a free copy of the Guide by attending one of the following upcoming presentations:
- University of Maryland Extension (UME) Winter Vegetable and Fruit Meetings, December 2 & 10, 2020, and February 10, 2021 (registration information: https://extension.umd.edu/events/series/6434).
- Future Harvest CASA Pre-Conference on January 14, 2021 (registration information: https://www.futureharvestcasa.org/conference/2021-conference).
- Legalities of Direct Marketing Webinars, February 18 & 23, 2021; for more information and to register visit: https://legaldirectmarketing.eventbrite.com.