Structural change, price wars, increasingly stringent requirements, lack of appreciation, climate change and ultimately the Corona Academy, more and more farms have ventured into direct marketing or another income combination in recent years. In most cases, it is the young farm successors* who follow the new paths, according to the experience of the special consultants for direct marketing, farm catering, guest accommodation and leisure activities on the farms, according to the Lower Saxony Chamber of Agriculture.
The official figures of the 2020 agricultural census of the Federal Statistical Office now show that the number of farms with income combinations has also increased sharply nationwide.
A vending machine on a farm - © Sabine Hoppe
With 2,620 direct marketers, Lower Saxony is in fourth place in the nationwide ranking. Across Germany, 22,840 farms had processing and direct marketing of agricultural products in 2020, according to the agricultural census. Most direct marketers are headquartered in Bavaria (5,720 farms), Baden-Württemberg (4,650 farms) and North Rhine-Westphalia (2,890 farms).
The last agricultural structure survey in 2016 still counted 10,000 direct marketers nationwide, including 1,100 direct marketers in Lower Saxony. However, the 2020 figures are not fully comparable with those of 2016. The survey methodology has changed. In 2020, farms with downstream businesses were also counted. Not counted in both 2016 and 2020 were legally independent commercial enterprises (e.g., subsidiaries) established by farms for the purpose of direct marketing. Therefore, the exact number of direct marketing farms is even higher.
Consumers will be pleased, as the number of shopping opportunities for regional products is increasing. They can be found on the Service-vom-Hof website of the Lower Saxony Chamber of Agriculture. For direct marketers, it is now a matter of sharpening their own profile and clearly highlighting their own strengths and focal points.