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Feasibility of Direct Producer-to-Consumer Marketing in an Urban, Low-Income Community Karen Ullmann, Bates College, Department of Environmental Studies


Survey Findings

Determine feasibility of implementing alternative direct producer-toconsumer markets that specifically address communities with limited income to help improve affordability, availability and accessibility of healthy, local food in Lewiston-Auburn, Maine

Consumer Interest in Alternative Markets

Community Feedback

Make recommendations to Good Food for Lewiston-Auburn’s Community Food Council using the feedback from community members and key informants across Maine

Markets Farmer: “It’s about creating viable businesses and that hap-

pens by creating knowledge and understanding in the community as to what their role is in farm viability”

Farmers’ Market: common area where several farmers

gather on a recurring basis to sell a variety of fruits and vegetables in which farmers sell produce directly to consumers

Community Supported Agriculture: community

Producer Interest in Alternative Markets

of individuals that pledges to support a farmer(s) by purchasing in advance a “share” or portion of their crop that year. In return, members receive a weekly produce bag or box of fresh, seasonal produce

three people less than $150 a month for food stamps...that don’t go very far and nine tenths of my check goes to rent and lights and bills”

Businesswoman: “We are now attracting a more

socioeconomic diverse population that isn’t going to pay, you know, double the rate of ground beef for a bite just because it’s bison”

Food Buying Clubs: form of purchasing in which

Community Organizer: “What is your community

community members pool resources to buy large quantities of food items directly from farmers at a lower, wholesale price

craving? Do they want spaces where they can bump into their friends and listen to music and eat stuff while they’re there or are they really all business?”

Mobile Food Truck: motorized vehicle that sells either fresh produce or made-to-order healthy, cooked food.


Community Member: “I get social security and I get for

Agriculture Investor: “A lot of companies in Maine right Producers’ Preferred Market for Expansion

now doing this work are start-up, you know, they’re not profitable yet, but they didn’t plan on being profitable yet”

Software Designer: “You gotta have those few really 12

Key Informant Interviews


Consumer Surveys


Producer Surveys


Focus Group

motivated people or it’s going nowhere”

Storeowner: “You know even though I like to believe that the stuff we carry is healthier, there’s still a lot of people that just get a loaf of bread or just a get a block of cheese”

Community Organizer: “Even though I don’t get food stamps, I live on a very limited budget. If you were to come to me with this buying club, I don’t know if I would have enough money today”

Feasibility of Direct Marketing in Urban, Low-Income Community  


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