Louisiana MarketMaker

Desiree A. Dorest  |  7/20/2010 1:24:27 AM

MARKETMAKER IS COMING TO LOUISIANA:  Linking Agricultural and Seafood Markets

What is MarketMaker?

MarketMaker is an internet based program that provides sellers of food products (principally small and medium sized operations) an efficient means of communicating product availability to potential buyers. It offers buyers a convenient internet search tool to locate products they want, either directly from producers or through some other channel. It is currently being used successfully in 15 states, including Mississippi and Arkansas. MarketMaker is free to buyers and sellers. Users connect through MarketMaker, but buying/selling activities are separate.

As you may know, an effort to get MarketMaker into Louisiana has been underway for the past year. Chancellor Richardson and Vice-Chancellor Coreil are strongly supportive of this effort. Funding has been secured. Working with National MarketMaker administrators and technology personnel, LSU AgCenter personnel will be trained in the administration, registration, and use of the program. As of this date, preparations have been made for the 2010 Farm Bureau Convention in New Orleans, where an announcement that registration is open will be made. If you attend that meeting, information will be available at our table in the vicinity of the main registration area.

Users of MarketMaker

Typical sellers are direct marketers of agricultural products, such as vegetables, fruits, grains, meats and seafood, and ornamental plants. A special emphasis will be given to Louisiana’s seafood producers because of the challenges faced from the oil spill. Sellers promote through written descriptions, postings, and web links. Buyers use keywords to search for products. Typical buyers might be individuals, farmers markets, wholesalers, or institutions looking for products with special attributes such as local production, heritage varieties, and organic. It is important to understand the potential that MarketMaker offers to Louisiana producers. This tool enables producers to find buyers, who value differentiated food products, and to sell more products at higher prices.

MarketMaker provides basic and advanced market analysis options, including a database with demographics that can be used to discover populations likely to include purchasers.

MarketMaker Training

The critical step in getting the program ready for use is to get sellers of raw and value-added food products to register. MarketMaker personnel will be in Baton Rouge in mid-July to provide training on the registration process and use of the program. This group will then be involved in group training of others in the process of registering farmers, shrimpers and other potential users of MarketMaker.

An information and public awareness campaign to announce the live availability of the program to the public is being developed by LSU AgCenter personnel.

How do I sign up for MarketMaker?

Step 1 : Visit LA.FoodMarketMaker.com
Step 2 : Click on “Register Your Business”
Step 3: Follow the on screen instructions to input your business information

Once you submit your information, you will automatically receive an email from MarketMaker that will include your username and temporary password. This access will allow you to make changes to your profile and keep the information up to date.

When you receive the email, log in to your account through the URL in Step 1 and change your password to one that you will remember.

Your information should appear on the website within one to two business days. Note: The quickest and easiest way to receive information from MarketMaker is through email.

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