How to Sell Produce Wholesale

Right now many people in California want to know more about where their produce comes from. They want to buy product that is local, organic, grown on a small farm, or by a family. Consumers want to know your story.

The produce distribution industry is mobilizing to meet this demand and needs appropriately prepared farmers. Distributors and retailers are looking for ways to sell to these customers. If you want to move product through these markets, you have to help them tell the story and make it easy for them to do business with you.

Perhaps you sell at the farmers market, have a CSA, or sell everything to a processor or packinghouse but you are now looking for another way to sell your produce.

Are you ready to sell to buyers who are looking for farmers who can provide labeled product for foodservice and specialty markets that care about small, local, and family farms like yours? What do buyers want from you, and what are the steps you will have to take to be ready to sell wholesale to them?

Resources for Farmers on Breaking into Wholesale Markets

Consumers’ interest in knowing where their food comes from has contributed significantly to the recent growth of the specialty foods market.  The Beyond Fresh & Direct project team received a grant from USDA to identify ingredient sourcing opportunities in the specialty food business.

The team developed five fact sheets providing tips for both manufacturers considering sourcing ingredients direct from farmers, and smaller-scale farmers interested in becoming ingredient suppliers to specialty food manufacturers (or perhaps developing their own specialty food business). The four-pagers, which incorporate numerous examples, address the following questions:



One page tip sheets that list the pros and cons of different market channels available to small producers:



Please visit our Food Safety for Food Hubs webpage for more comprehensive food safety information in English and Spanish.






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  • Introduction to planning for farm business - Short PowerPoint serves as a very simple introduction to new farmers about how to start planning  the farm business
  • SOS BAM - Template for making a strategic plan. Useful for existing farmers who are considering adding a new enterprise or who simply want to define and redefine their current focus