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Marketing/Use: Important for Your Program, the Soil & the Climate

Marketing finished compost is important to make money for the organization, make room on the pad for new feedstocks, and maintain good community relations with both the facility and the industry. Using finished compost is also important to community carbon sequestration goals to mitigate climate change. When compost is applied, the soil’s health increases as microbes grow and multiply. These microbes sequester carbon in the soil through photosynthesis during plant growth.

When the public values the final product, compost will be the gold standard throughout the cycle, for both disposing of organics, for climate benefits, and as a soil amendment. A good marketing plan for compost must demonstrate all of these benefits of and applications for compost to compete successfully with other soil products for the customers to whom it will be sold and used. Different grades of compost are appropriate for specific uses and, in all cases, the compost operator must concentrate on delivery of a consistently high-quality product, that is available in reliable quantities. Establishing a competitive compost selling program provides a huge value to the community, that an educational program may be needed to fully communicate. Details of what should be included in a marketing plan to ensure compost produced will be sold and used are included here.


Compost is best known for its soil enrichment value.

The addition of compost improves the physical, chemical and biological properties of soils and potting mixes. The use of compost for plant growth purposes requires consideration of factors such as the crop or plant to be grown, type of soil at the site, and specific compost characteristics. Mature, properly produced compost has also been gaining recognition for its ability to bind contaminants from polluted water and soil, control erosion, and degrade toxic chemicals. Between increased research on the benefits of compost as a growth media and interest in its use in bioremediation, the future for compost markets is promising.

Examples of the benefits of compost use: https://www.compostingcouncil.org/page/CompostBenefits


  • Marketing Personnel
    Communication with your customers is key. If you are in a Public- Private Partnership, make sure communication is clear about who is responsible for selling the finished product.
  • 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…
  • Benefits of using compost
    Compost is best known for its soil enrichment value. The addition of compost improves the physical, chemical and biological properties of soils and potting mixes. The use of compost for plant growth purposes requires consideration of factors such as the crop or plant to be grown, type of soil at…
  • Create compost qualities for specific market uses
    Compost is used for a variety of purposes, some of which are specific to a market sector. Composting should be approached as the production of a revenue-generating organic material, rather than disposal of a waste. The shift in focus toward revenue generation can affect the quality of the finished product…
  • Develop a Product Brand Specification
    Branded promotion and education lead to increased sales. Target a specific audience. Targeting specific market segments should be determined based on type of feedstocks being used, screening and blending capabilities, and market demands. Develop a product identity. Then, be consistent so your customers know what to expect. Developing a product…
  • Product Certifications
    Increase your customer’s confidence in your product through third-party product certifications. Various types of compost product certifications can be found here: Certification through the Seal of Testing Assurance (STA) Certified Compost program is a great tool to market your compost. https://www.compostingcouncil.org/page/CompostManufacturersSTA ▪ The nationally recognized branding and logo are available…
  • Pricing Structure
    Compost does not sell itself. Selling your compost will require processes to ensure consistent high quality product levels, establishing marketing and promotional programs, and creating proper pricing structures for all products.
  • Identifying distribution channels
    Consider how you will distribute your product. Evaluate options for delivery. Do you have in-house hauling capability, with vehicles not contaminated by feedstocks? Can you contract with an outside hauler? Packaging. Bagging your product bring additional cost, time, and a different market segment. Distribution Retail sales have a higher markup,…
  • Plan for education, outreach, and promotions
    The next step in preparing a marketing plan is to evaluate options for education and outreach. Education is key – plan public a relations and education strategy. Consider education as part of your marketing strategies and consider it a strategic goal. Compost is a technical product, so sales and marketing…
  • Continuous Evaluation of Marketing and Compost Quality
    As stated; compost will not always sell itself, periodically evaluate how well-aligned the product you create is to the expectations of customers. Ask your customers how you could improve. Look at what your competition is doing. https://www.compostingcouncil.org/page/participants Review the updates to the specifications on the US Composting Council website. https://www.compostingcouncil.org/page/HowUseCompost…
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