Specialty crop growers rely on ecommerce during pandemic


Specialty crop growers rely on ecommerce during pandemic

COVID-19 related social distancing and health safety requirements have pushed many specialty crop producers to rely more on ecommerce and digital marketing.

During the virtual Illinois Specialty Crop Conference, Leslie Cooperband with Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery in Champaign-Urbana says they have boosted their presence on social media during the pandemic to help market their goat cheeses and gelatos.

“The height of the pandemic hit at the height of kidding season, so we were able to really explode with TikTok videos of baby goats and that really helped boost a following on our Instagram account.”

Lorien Carsey with Blue Moon Farm in Urbana says they spent more time adjusting their online store to accommodate customers.

“We had no trouble marketing because everyone wanted food. For the most part, we just opened it up to our CSA members and had no trouble moving product.”

Cooperband says they also learned a lot about shipping perishable goods and have made it a goal this year to only use recyclable and compostable packaging to reduce the environmental footprint of increased online orders.