Smallholder Farmers in Peru Add Online Sales to Expand Market
November 17, 2020
Community of Practice:
Agroferias Campesinas, or peasant farmers’ market, is a Sunday street market in a middle-class neighborhood of Lima. A successful example of direct sales to a larger audience, it differs from organic fairs in the wealthier districts in that smallholders from around Peru bring produce, some of which is organic, from projects dealing with agrobiodiversity or nature conservation. Their produce is commonly linked to specific territories and local traditions as well. Farmers will often send their products to relatives living in Lima: an encouraging example of good logistics and using connections in extended families whose members are both rural and urban.
Agroferias Campesinas started as a project of the gastronomic society APEGA and later became an association formed by the participants. Closed during the first months of COVID-19, a reduced version of it now runs three days a week, with the aid of a small CCRP grant, recently started online delivery. Its online service began with a pilot and gradually migrated to the popular e-commerce platform Shopify. The need to expand from a direct sales-only model wasn’t unique to Agroferias Campesinas: The pandemic has brought many new virtual marketing ventures, making competition a concern. See the market’s online offerings here.