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Subject: Wholesale and Brokers

Hello Everyone,

Over the past few years almost all my marketing has been done directly through me to CSA customers and particular local restaurants. We are in the process of expanding the farm and looking towards having excess in the future much beyond what our local CSA and current restaurants are consuming.

So today my main questions are, 1. Does anyone have any experience with any local/ semi-local distributors or wholesalers in Northern California? 2. Good or Bad experiences? please elaborate. 3. Do they pay fair prices? 4. Who if anyone would you recommend? 5. What kind of food safety and insurance hurdles did you have to deal with to land these larger accounts?

I know we have a lot of experience on the boards here, and I am sure I am not the only one with the issue of growing more food and trying to figure out how to best sell it outside of their local markets without selling out to the big man and making stupidly low returns?

Thanks in advance,

-Kevin Nowell

In Topics Washing, Packing & Packaging, Marketing & Sales, Food Safety, Trucks, Delivery & Logistics, Business & Financial Planning

In General FarmsReach community, Mendocino Farmers Guild, Yolo Farmers Guild, California FarmLink, Cooperation Among Farmers, Nevada County Guild

Comments 7
02/13/15

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  |  Humble Bee Hill Farms  |  Shingle Springs, CA commented

Does anyone have any experience with any other particular wholesalers or brokers? Anyone who is better or worse or any red flags for companies to avoid? I guess I am looking for some specifics so I can make some calls out to these different buyers and get some input.

Thanks everyone for your input, it has all been very helpful.

02/16/15 4:36 PM

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Food Security In the Wake of Rancho: Something to Gain from the Shut-Down of the North Bay's Only USDA Slaughterhouse?

The recent recall, closure and sale of the North Bay’s only USDA-inspected slaughterhouse made headlines nationally, while our own food community—in a region that prides itself on pure, humane and locally produced ingredients—woke-up to how even the best-intentioned farmers and ranchers are entwined within a larger, more complex and often fragile system.

After the USDA issued and then expanded a second recall on all meats processed at Rancho Feeding Corp., the decades-old slaughterhouse voluntarily shut its doors as investigations ensued. Much of Rancho’s business relied upon the slaughter of retired dairy cows from all over the state, leaving specific time slots open to smaller-scale local producers of beef and pork, many of whom make up the myriad of our region’s

... Read More

In Topics Food Safety, Livestock, Policy, News & Events

In General FarmsReach community, Mendocino Farmers Guild, North Coast Farmers Guild: Sebastopol, Sonoma Valley Farmers Guild

Comment 0
02/28/14

I'm gonna seal this package with a kiss. Thanks to everyone who spoke (wrote) out against the FDA's new food safety rules that will, unless revised, seriously over-regulate and hurt small, diversified and family farms. And to everyone who sent their own letter or submitted online.

And guess what? It's not too late. Another week left to submit your comments. Just visit: http://sustainableagriculture.net/fsma/speak-out-today/

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photo_1383846561.jpg

In Topics Food Safety, Policy

In Mendocino Farmers Guild, North Coast Farmers Guild: Sebastopol, Sonoma Valley Farmers Guild

Comment 0
11/07/13

A panel about the Food Safety Modernization Act will be held at the Little Lake Grange (291 School Street in Willits) on November 5th at 7pm. Panelists will discuss: a summary of the regulation, potential impacts to local agricultural operations, current exemptions, relation to organic producers and upcoming comment opportunities.

Panelists will include: Chuck Morse, Mendocino County Agricultural Commissioner; Devon Jones, Executive Director Mendocino County Farm Bureau; Doug Mosel, Mendocino Grain Project; Scott Cratty, General Manager Mendocino County Farmers Market Association.

If you're unsure how these proposed rules will affect you and your farming operation, PLEASE attend this panel. Comments on the proposed rules close on November 15 and it is critically important that the Food and Drug Administration gets accurate, first-hand information about how their proposed rules may affect
... Read More

In Topics Food Safety, Policy

In Mendocino Farmers Guild

Comment 0
10/29/13

For better or worse, Food Safety on the Farm is a topic that small growers across the nation are having to grapple with. Whether your buyers are demanding a 3rd party audit or you just want to know what the fuss is all about, Cathy Carlson from CAFF (Community Alliance with Family Farmers) can demystify the process and arm you with the information you need to tackle this issue at a free workshop for farmers on Monday, November 18th in Willits, CA.

The workshop begins at 9am with a basic overview of Good Agricultural Practices and how to create a food safety plan for your operation. Lunch will be provided by Chef Kyle Evans of Howard Memorial Hospital, followed by a "mock-audit" at Commonwealth Garden at 1pm. Cathy will be available for additional mock-audits at farms within reasonable distance from the workshop on the following day.

See attached flier for workshop details and contact Susan Lightfoot,

... Read More

Food_Safety_workshop_(3)_1381866107.pdf

In Topics Food Safety

In North Coast Convergence, Mendocino Farmers Guild

Comment 0
10/15/13

Dear Food & Drug Administration: Don't Forget About Us Small Farmers!

The FDA's newly proposed food safety rules are meant to protect consumers by regulating agricultural operations. But when applied to small, organic, diversified and family farms, these same rules could be disastrous. In fact, for many diversified farms, the average annual cost to comply with the proposed rules is about half or more of what many farmers might, in a good year, expect in profits if certain ambiguities in the FSMA rule are not addressed.

The good news: it's not too late! The rules are open to public comment until November 15th. Get informed and speak out: either join us tomorrow night (Tues. Oct. 15th) at the Mendocino Farmers Guild at Willits Grange Hall to learn more. Or get involved online by visiting http://sustainableagriculture.net/fsma/

In Topics Food Safety

In Mendocino Farmers Guild

Comment 0
10/14/13
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