Identifying potential markets

The first steps of preparing a marketing plan are to evaluate the market. Because actual markets for compost vary widely from one community to the next, an assessment of the organics industry in your region is essential to understand the potential for compost use in your locality.

  • Potential market sectors may include:

Landscaping installation and maintenance

Sports turf management

Nursery/greenhouse potting soil

Stormwater mitigation and erosion control

Agriculture (fiber, food, sod, forestry)

Soil blenders and brokers

Home gardening

New uses

  • A market survey can help identify:

Potential target markets and users of compost products

Current compost demand

Price paid for similar products

Desired qualities in the product

Feedstock biases compost use customers have

Purchasing cycles / Peak demand months

Purchase terms

Delivery conditions

  • Identify your competition’s



Compost qualities

  • Market viability – Determine your compost’s value to the user based on its advantages and limitations. Does your product meet, or can it be changed to meet your customer’s needs?
  • Identify municipality’s internal value of the finished product

There may be barriers to overcome, so realize that properly made compost has a market value. This should be conveyed to all personnel educating all staff that  organics is not simply disposing of waste but creating a valued product.

An expectation that may need to be addressed is that all city services are provided at no cost to the residents. Organic disposal, like water purification, can be a city service that is offered to residents. These services have value and finished compost should be priced accordingly to establish a market value for the compost.

Determine a plan for showing others within the organization the value of the finished compost product so that it may be sold at market prices.

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