Good Food on Every Table!

FamilyFarmed.org is a non-profit organization committed to expanding the production, marketing and distribution of locally grown and responsibly produced food, in order to enhance the social, economic, and environmental health of our communities.

Farmer Training/Wholesale Success

Need: Small and mid-acreage family farmers are the backbone of a local, responsible food system, but many of these farmers lack the tools and resources to scale up and meet large buyers’ needs.

Our Response: We work with farmers across the country to help them improve their post harvest handling, operations, and marketing skills, develop customized food safety plans, and break into wholesale markets.

“Schools across the country are increasingly interested in purchasing products from local and regional producers. In this context, one of the things schools often consider is food safety and other on-farm best practices. Any farmer that wants to sell products to a school would benefit from attending familyfarmed.org’s wholesale success training. It’s a fantastic resource, chock full of great information, helpful tips, and practical steps for selling wholesale produce.” -Deborah J. Kane National Director,USDA Farm to School Program

“I just wanted to let you know the wholesale produce success book you helped write has been an awesome resource for Sally and I this year.  As we grow our wholesale business, we have really tried hard to learn about post-harvest handling knowledge and facilities, along with food safety principles.  We have proper cold storage this year, along with the ability to do tunnel cooling.  We successfully sold head lettuce, broccoli and storage cabbages to some coops this year (and still are) and all had been properly harvested, sanitized, cooled, and stored thanks to the information in your book. We have been selling many types of greens, roots, cucumbers, tomatoes, and herbs to the St. Peter Food Coop and some restaurants as well.  It’s really turned out to be our best year yet despite not having workable soil until mid-may.

When picking for the CSA, the book has been a daily go-to reference for us because we want the most high quality produce with the longest shelf life to end up in our CSA.  If we send out wilty broccoli or slimy lettuce, we just won’t keep members.  Today we’re harvesting sweet potatoes and are all set up with a proper curing area.  It feels like we are moving into a more “professional” phase of our farm, thanks to all of the work on post harvest handling we’ve done.  It seems like growing the crops is the easy part now, it’s quality on the shelf that will build reputation.  Your workshops and the book have really helped us get to this point.” - Josh Reinitz, East Henderson Farm

For more great farmer feedback, click here!

Wholesale Success is a comprehensive program designed to help small and mid- acreage fruit and vegetable farmers with one of the biggest challenges they face: growing their business! This program gives farmers the resources and tools they need to make sure their produce is of the highest quality, to manage food safety and other risks, and to nurture the relationships with customers that they need to be successful.

The Wholesale Success Manual:

Wholesale Success: A Farmer’s Guide to Food Safety, Selling, Postharvest Handling,and Packing Produce, now in its 4th Edition, is the definitive guide for produce farmers selling into wholesale markets. This 300+ page manual builds the capacity of farmers to meet the burgeoning demand for locally/regionally grown fruits and vegetables. Wholesale Success covers up-to-date best practices information on food safety, postharvest handling, packing, business management, marketing, and crop-specific profiles for over 100 crops. For purchasing information, click here.

Nationwide Wholesale Success Training Program:

For the past five years, FamilyFarmed.org, our experienced farmer-trainer Atina Diffley, and on-the-ground partner organizations have trained thousands of growers on how to better meet wholesale buyers’ expectations for product quality, consistency and food safety. In 2012-2013 we trained 2500 farmers in 15 states with support from the Risk Management Agency (RMA) of the USDA. FamilyFarmed.org is continuing work with RMA to train over 1,300 farmers across 11 states in 2013 and 2014. In total, the Wholesale Success program has reached over 6,500 farmers from across the U.S. Topics covered in the workshops include:

Proper Pre/Post-Harvest Handling Techniques • Maintaining the Cold Chain • Cleaning and Drying • Packing and Grading • Developing Relationships with Buyers • Food Safety Best Practices • Needs of Wholesale Buyers

For a list of technical assistance resources click here.

We want to bring Wholesale Success to your area!
Please contact us and we can work together to tailor the workshop to the needs of your farmers. You can see our current schedule here!