GFM Network News

The price you set for your product has to be fair to you, but it also has to give retailers enough room to build in costs that are invisible to most shoppers.

Setting the right price for the grocery shelf

Canada’s grocery stores are eager for more producers to fill their shelves with great straight-from-the-farm products. To win, though, you’ve got to price them right

Reading Time: 7 minutes From the outside, it looks likes a huge opportunity just waiting for you to grab hold of it. And maybe it really is. We’ve all been there. You already have an idea of what it costs to grow your crops and raise your livestock, and one day when you’re pushing your cart down the aisle […] Read more

The sustainability conundrum

In the Western world at least, there’s a big demand for ‘sustainably sourced’ products. What that means, or receiving a premium for them, is another matter

Reading Time: 5 minutes The food giants want it on their labels, and in the annual reports and other information they send to their investors. PepsiCo, Walmart, General Mills, McDonald’s, Unilever, Sara Lee and Nestlé are among those citing the years 2020 or 2025 as targets for achieving their goals of buying “sustainably sourced” products. But what does that […] Read more

Consumers are just figuring out what food fraud is to them, Sylvain Charlebois says. (John Greig photo)

Greig: Food fraud a challenge to whole food supply chain

Reading Time: 3 minutes Farmers are used to the conversation about how to manage trust with consumers. Food companies are learning it too, and finding food fraud to be a significant concern. Food fraud “comes back to trust,” according to Renata McGuire of NSF Consulting and Technical Services. “Do I trust this brand?” McGuire, along with Sylvain Charlebois, dean […] Read more

Marcia Woods

Uber-stores for food

Businesses like Marcia Woods’ FreshSpoke are figuring out how to connect Canadian farmers with the consumers looking for ways to buy from them

Reading Time: 4 minutes Marcia Woods’ frustration at not being able to buy the high-quality food that she knew was being grown right down the road evolved into an online business that not only connects farmers with wholesalers, but also solves their transportation and cash-flow headaches. Coming from a long line of Oxford County farmers in Ontario, Woods, who’s […] Read more

An isolated shot of a beautiful woman reading a book

What do your customers care about?

Check out the mainstream books, films and other media that are shaping what consumers think about what you do

Reading Time: 4 minutes Gluten-free, organic, GMO, free-run — these just hint at the kind of vocabulary being tossed about by consumers today. Packed with good intentions and a little knowledge, such notions are warping the demand for food products, and they may be laying a path for legislation. Never before has there been so much being written, said […] Read more


A market for non-GMO corn

Consumer demand is having a larger impact on what and how farmers may grow

Reading Time: 5 minutes In times with volatile commodity prices, farmers are apt to put more effort into researching opportunities such as identity-preserved markets, particularly for soybeans. After all, as we often hear, a $1 premium looks better if soybeans drop towards $10 per bushel than when they’re above $13. But what if there could be IP premiums for […] Read more

Selling farm-direct to consumers

Selling farm-direct to consumers

Small, direct-market farmers are building better business cases for their farms. But will business smarts be enough?

Reading Time: 8 minutes Allison Fenske pulls a reluctant grey cat off her dining room table to make room for her jars of homemade pea-shoot pesto, pickled beets and spicy slices of jicama turnip. She points to the turnips. “Jonathan says he always tells people you can eat them the way you’d eat an apple, and I was like, […] Read more

Plant of the young corn on field,selective focus

The GMO debate is far from over

The labelling issue is more about perceived risk or benefit than it is about science

Reading Time: 4 minutes With the Vermont GMO (genetically modified organism) labelling law now in effect, a number of companies has begun to voluntarily label all of their products sold anywhere in the U.S. rather than end up having to produce different labels for different states. They are, in effect, treating the Vermont law as the national standard for GMO […] Read more

Farmer in field examining crop

Is it time to drop the term ‘commercial farmer?’

When you call yourself a commercial farmer, consumers may hear ‘factory farm’

Reading Time: 6 minutes Labels are a tricky business, especially in an agriculture where there is a dictionary full of words you can use to describe other farmers, or that you can use to call yourself. Are you a farmer, or a producer? Or are you a grower, or a rancher? More to the point, what do you call […] Read more