2022/2023 Alpaca Owners Guide
Selling at off-site venues requires a different setup, one that is adaptable for different sizes and layouts.
Farmers Markets and Craft Fairs Once a staple of the grower-to-consumer movement of farm products, farmers markets are making a comeback all over the U.S. Today’s farmers’ markets, with their emphasis on “natural,” “homemade,” and “hand-crafted” goods, are a great way for alpaca growers to showcase their products. Chances are there’s a farmers market near you that you could join, at least on an occasional basis. The space fees are often very reasonable and may be based on the quality of the facility and the draw of the public. Arts and crafts fairs, especially in the pre-holiday months of September through December, can be another excellent off-ranch venue to showcase your alpaca goods. With arts and crafts fairs, there is often a fairly significant booth fee involved. It’s important to know a little something about these occasional shows ahead of time to determine if it is an appropriate venue
for your goods, if it is well run, and if it will be promoted well enough to justify your expenditure of time and money to be present. There are a number of web-based publications that contain reviews of various arts and crafts shows that you may find useful. USDA statistics show that most successful small farm “agventures” are partially or completely vertically integrated. That is, rather than selling their raw product at low, bulk prices to a processor or manufacturer, who will value-add to it and thereby achieve a much higher price, they take the finished product directly to the consumer and thereby reap the higher value themselves.
Before retiring, Rachel Hendrickson ran a highly successful, vertically-integrated alpaca-to-finished product sales operation in Arizona for many years.
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