Wholesale Resources

Scaling-Up: Perspectives from Growers and Buyers on Barriers and Benefits to Wholesale Marketing of Local Fruits and Vegetables

Explores the challenges and opportunities to increasing wholesale fruit and vegetable sales through interviews of experienced and beginner Iowa growers as well as wholesale buyers with experience in the local produce wholesale market. Published by Practical Farmers of Iowa, 2012. http://lib.dr.iastate.edu/leopold_pubspapers/95/ 

Wholesale Success: A Farmer’s Guide to Food Safety, Selling, Postharvest Handling, and Packing Produce

A training manual with over 300 pages on selling into wholesale markets, topics including: calculating return on investment; cleaning, drying, and curing produce; traceability, packing shed design, and maintaining the cold chain. Produced by FamilyFarmed.org, single copy purchase cost $80. https://goodfoodcatalyst.org/wholesale-success/.

Beyond Direct Marketing: Exploring New Ways to Sell

On March 24th,  the Cornell Small Farms Program hosted the 4th NY Small Farms Summit.  The full day program, Beyond Direct Marketing: Exploring New Ways to Sell, featured small farmers’ perspectives on the pros and cons of selling wholesale. The summit’s page on the Small Farms website now includes profiles of featured farmer speakers who shared their personal knowledge and experiences with wholesale  marketing, video clips of farmer presentations, and video clips of discussions about wholesale marketing between the presenters and summit participants. https://smallfarms.cornell.edu/projects/summit/

NC Growing Together Resources

NC Growing Together offers a number of resources to help farmers transition to wholesale marketing including tips on marketing fresh produce to grocery stores, info about voluntary claims for meat handlers, Good Agricultural Practices for small farms, and explanations of packaging and other specifications. Visit NC Growing Together’s website for the full list of resources.

Collaborative Marketing Resources

New collaborative marketing models are increasingly evolving in local markets, prompting distinct changes in food supply chains. Accessing markets can be particularly problematic for smaller-scale businesses that lack sufficient volumes of products to feasibly attract and retain larger-scale buyers. Economies of scale can often result with producers and agribusinesses working together to address these production and marketing barriers. However, existing infrastructure and logistical arrangements may not be appropriate or feasible for today’s emerging local and regional food systems. Cornell’s 2013 Strategic Marketing Conference addressed these issues. The conference featured speakers from new and emerging food hub organizations, wholesale food distributors, and online marketing agencies working directly with agricultural producers. Videos of the speakers’ presentations can be found here. Another resource on collaborative marketing is the “Collaborative Marketing for Small Farms” written by Agriculture Economic Development Specialist Jim Ochterski, which can be found here.

National Good Food Network

The National Good Food Network is bringing together people from all parts of the rapidly emerging good food system – producers, buyers, distributors, advocates, investors and funders – to create a community dedicated to scaling up good food sourcing and access. The NGFN is your learning and doing network – the place where you find peers and partners, practical information, and the resources you need to accelerate and broaden the impact of your work. http://www.ngfn.org/

Wisconsin Local Food Marketing Guide

This guide covers how to market direct to consumer and sell through intermediate channels such as restaurants, grocery stores, institutions, and distributors. Includes details on pricing, licensing, labeling, regulations, food safety, food liability, and farm insurance. Published by the Wisconsin DATCP, 2011. https://datcp.wi.gov/Documents/DAD/LocalMarketingFoodGuide_1_16.pdf

Farmers Market Federation of NY Webinars

The FMFNY offers a number of webinars, some of which are pertinent to wholesale marketing- particularly “Market Channels Assessment” and “Every Silver Lining Has a Cloud! Market Assessment & Analysis.” http://www.nyfarmersmarket.com/webinars/

Massachusetts Farm to School Project

The Massachusetts Farm to School Project can help you connect with schools or institutional food services that are interested in buying locally grown products. They can provide information about this market sector and help you ask the right questions to determine profitability and viability. Resources include a Food Service Interview Form full of questions to ask when meeting with an institutional customer, a list of institutions in Massachusetts that are already purchasing local foods, a Farmer ID Card to ensure that all boxes of your produce arrive at the school with your farm name clearly identified, and a guide to selling to institutional customers. http://www.massfarmtoschool.org/resources/farmers/

Resources from National Farm to Cafeteria Conference

The National Farm to Cafeteria Conference is a biennial event that convenes stakeholders from across the farm to cafeteria movement who are working to source local food for institutional cafeterias and foster a culture of food and agricultural literacy across America. The conference is hosted by the National Farm to School Network, in partnership with a local host organization. Workshops and presentations from the conference are available.

FarmersWeb: Software for Farms to Manage Working with Wholesale Buyers

FarmersWeb streamlines working with wholesale buyers such as restaurants, schools, corporate kitchens, retails stores, and more. Lessening the administrative work that comes with each order helps producers create a more successful relationship with their buyers and can help them work with more buyers overall. www.farmersweb.com

Webinar – How to Sell Domestic Foods to the USDA

Each year, USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) buys nearly $2 billion and 2 billion pounds of frozen, processed, and fresh fruits, vegetables, meat, poultry, fish and eggs. Otherwise known as “USDA Foods.” These healthy, American grown and processed products help feed millions of school children and are also distributed to food banks, disaster areas, and wherever else they are needed. AMS proudly buys “USDA Foods” from a diverse pool of companies, both large and small. Special emphasis on contracting information for small, socially disadvantaged, women-owned, and service disabled veteran-owned businesses, as well as those in Historically Underutilized Business Zones (HUB Zones). http://www.ams.usda.gov/AMSv1.0/getfile?dDocName=STELPRDC5106886

Food Hub Funding Guide from Senator Gillibrand’s Office

The office of U.S. Senator Kirsten E. Gillibrand of New York has released a 43-page publication titled A Guide to Funding Opportunities and Incentives for Food Hubs and Food Systems. The guidebook details information on grants, loans, and tax credits from numerous federal agencies. Download the guide at http://www.gillibrand.senate.gov/download/food-hub-and-food-systems-grant-guide

National Good Agricultural Practices Program (GAPs)

A comprehensive extension and education program for growers and packers with the goal of reducing microbial risks in fruits and vegetables. www.gaps.cornell.edu

HACCP Programs

Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point programs, or HACCP, are required for wholesale sale (not for retail) of seafood, dairy, meat and poultry products, juice and cider processing facilities, while other sectors of the food industry are coming into voluntary compliance. Penn State offers three day HACCP workshops which cover the fundamentals of HACCP and the application in meat and poultry processing operations. It provides the participant with hands-on experience in developing a HACCP plan. The course is certified by the International HACCP Alliance and meets USDA requirements for HACCP training. More information can be found here.

Collaborative Marketing and Local & Regional Food Systems Presentation

Cornell Cooperative Extension of Broome County is currently engaged in a project working intensively with direct marketers interested in, or currently pursuing collaborative marketing, to create and test resources to help farmers evaluate on an individual basis proposed or existing collaborative marketing relationship through qualitative and quantitative bases, and create an online and print resource center dedicated to collaborative marketing. The presentation discusses the resources and tools created during the project and how they can be applied across the state and the northeast to all types and scales of direct marketing operations.

New Markets Growth Opportunities with GroupGAP

The AMS’ Specialty Crops Inspection Division, in partnership with the Wallace Center at Winrock International, presents a webinar on GroupGAP, a new certification option for our Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) audit program. This program makes GAP certification more accessible to small and medium size producers by allowing multiple growers to work together to obtain a single certification as a group. GroupGAP certification offers growers a cost-effective means to show adherence to GAP requirements. A recording of the webinar is available here.