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Pros and Cons of Alternative Markets

Alternative marketing—such as farmers' markets, CSA groups, and other direct markets—have a lot to offer.  They are especially attractive to people who are concerned about where their food is coming from, because the direct marketing format offers greater transparency to the underlying food system.

Concerned consumers should keep in mind that just because something is offered as an alternative to major corporate marketing, it isn't inherently better. While the mainstream marketing sector has its disadvantages, it also has many advantages.



Comparison and Contrast of Alternative or Direct Marketing with Conventional Marketing (click to enlarge).

The best way to ensure that your food is produced in a sustainable manner, with practices that are most important to you (such as local production, organic farming, or fair labor agreements), is to be familiar with the source of your food and the process it undergoes to get to your table.  Direct marketing often makes it easier to learn about the farming practices used or even make suggestions as farmers and consumers can have a more direct line of communication.