On February 22, RAFI-USA’s Farmers of Color Network hosted the first in a five-part webinar series called Market Readiness, designed for farmers. This webinar focused on Wholesale Readiness and what farmers can expect as they explore engaging in wholesale markets.
The webinar featured a panel discussion between Lauren Horning, Director of Local Sourcing and Sustainability for Fresh Point, Patrick Brown of Brown Family Farms in Hecks Grove, NC, and Millard Locklear of New Ground farm in Lumberton, NC. Freshpoint is a regional produce distributor that primarily services foodservice accounts, such as restaurants, universities, hospitals, hotels, corporate dining, etc., as well as some retailers. Both Brown and Locklear are experienced farmers with diversified farming operations who have worked with wholesale vendors as well as direct to consumer channels.
A variety of topics were covered including: starting and maintaining relationships with wholesale clients, managing multiple market channels, and preparing their farm for pursuing wholesale markets. The farmers on the panel were able to give valuable insights into their own processes and journeys, while Freshpoint representative Lauren Horning shared logistics, tips, and pitfalls for farmers interested in working with a large regional wholesaler.
The event was recorded and can be watched below:
The Market Readiness series is designed to explore some of the fundamental considerations for farmers seeking to expand their market reach, particularly with wholesale, restaurant, food market, and institutional buyers. The series will cover these main topics over the course of the remainder of the year:
- GAP and Organic Certification
- Farm to School/Institutional Buying
- How to become a SNAP/EBT Retailer
- Working Within Collectives or Collaborations
Our next webinar will focus on GAP and Organic Certification and will take place on Thursday, April 28, 2022 at 6 PM. We will send out an invitation to register soon. Please stay tuned for the next date and topic in the coming weeks by checking our website or our social media channels.