Farm profits are prohibited by the rising costs of production, the lack of capital, food security cost, marketing cost and changes in government policies and programs which support food and nutrition. Small farmers must employ dynamic management and marketing strategies and practices to perform at a pace which provides profitable returns. Many small farms do not have the staff, transportation resources, or proximity to locale to attend farmers markets. Cooperatives alleviate many of these problems helping to reduce cost and risk by pooling resources to get crops to market. Aggregated produce also creates opportunities to pursue a larger variety of markets. Consumers are making greater demands on food suppliers to provide safe and healthy food. Farmers are under pressure to provide documentation of operating procedures, guidelines and practices instituted on farms and in processing facilities to reduce food borne illnesses.
Broader Horizons Management Consulting, uses and researches business models that have successfully been used to connect farmers to markets and to better understand how to scale up production to meet market demand for local markets and new regional markets. The identification of these models may provide insights that can help move the work of individual farmers and cooperatives forward in a more substantial way.