Marketing local food to distributors
The demand for local food is growing and here to stay. Wholesale is a largely untapped market and more and more institutions are looking to grow their local food purchases. Selling to wholesale customers has its set of challenges: buyers are looking for food safety efforts, often require large liability policies and have packaging requirements. They are looking for clean, graded, consistent product. Don’t let that drive you away: many buyers, particularly food hubs, will work with farmers to help them go through the hurdles.
Wholesale customers may include: food services (schools, hospitals, restaurant, bakeries, etc.), food retailers (grocery stores, specialty stores), food distributors (food hubs and others).
- Farmer and Buyer Toolkits 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.
- The Scaling up for Regional Markets Tutorial provides lessons and information for farmers who have success in smaller and more direct marketing channels and who are interested in expanding their operations to meet a growing demand for local food.
- Grower’s Manual.This 21-page manual developed by the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture helps local food cooperatives improve their handling practices and meet food safety standards.
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