Thursday, February 5, 2009

Niche meat marketing initiative

Niche meats are growing in popularity as consumers hunger for exotic flavors, such as grassfed beef, goat, sheep and other livestock; while others seek to support small-scale farming and conservation; and health-conscious consumers pursue more nutritious meat produced and processed using non-conventional methods. But moving into niche meat production can be complicated.

The University of Maryland Extension Ag Marketing Program is organizing a Maryland niche meats and poultry marketing initiative. The goals of this initiative include:
  • Developing a searchable, geographic product database to facilitate product searches by consumers, restaurants, and institutional buyers- this effort will supplement, not replace the “Maryland’s Best” directory and other on-line listings.
  • Providing information and resources for product development, regulatory issues, and collaborative marketing efforts.
  • Offering training and economic analysis to determine “best fit’ business structures and the profit potential of niche meat markets in the Mid-Atlantic region.
If you're a Maryland farmer and interested in carving out a marketing niche for your specialty meat and poultry products, fill out and return the Maryland Niche Meat & Poultry Producers’ Marketing Initiative Interest & Directory Form.