Buying local food: wholesale
Customer influence and local farm-to-fork efforts are making an impact on larger-volume buyers. The local food movement will grow only if “big” buyers are involved as well as individual consumers. These buyers face additional hurdles if they want to source locally.
- Local food is often produced on a smaller scale than the wholesale scale most buyers are used to, which may lead to logistical challenges (ordering, invoices, delivery, etc.)
- Food services may not be equipped to deal with unprocessed ingredients.
- Because most products are available seasonally, buyers have to adapt to their orders to accommodate availability.
Following are a few tips from institutional buyers experienced in buying locally produced food.
Best management practices
Here are some examples of institutions and retail stores known for their local food procurement.
- Farmer and Buyer Toolkit for Wholesale Readiness. This web resource was developed by our Community Food Systems Program staff. Topics covered include licensing, labeling, delivery and pricing for buyers, and insurance, food safety, packaging and storage for producers.
- Production Planning for Aggregators. Although this guide was written for aggregators such as food hubs, institutions or other organizations who need a large volume of products from multiple farmers will find useful information as well.
Tips from practitioners
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