Developing wholesale markets for family farmers is key to building local food systems as more than 99% of agricultural products consumed in America are purchased through wholesale channels. FamilyFarmed.org works to build demand and supply and helps to create infrastructure that supports the growth of the system. FamilyFarmed.org works with many leading buyers of local food including Whole Foods Market, Chipotle, Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises, Sysco, Compass Group, Goodness Greeness, Chartwells-Thompson Hospitality (Chicago Public Schools), Irv & Shelley’s Fresh Picks, Testa Produce, and others to connect them with local food sources.
FamilyFarmed.org also provides technical assistance and training for farmers. We published Wholesale Success: A Farmer’s Guide to Selling, Postharvest Handling and Packing Produce. The 255-page manual includes comprehensive sections on issues such as Building Relationships with Buyers, On-Farm Food Safety and Calculating Return in Investment. It also includes over 100 crop profiles that give specific harvesting, cooling, storage, and packing information on most of the fruits and vegetables grown in the United States. It is the basis for our Wholesale Success farmer training workshops that are conducted across the US. We also do “Meet the Buyer” events in select markets to link local producers face to face with wholesale buyers.