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Models and Strategies for a Produce Distribution Plan.

Yarbrough, Nicole.

For over seven years, Minnesota Food Association (MFA) has worked with immigrant communities, with a special focus on those groups with traditionally strong ties to agriculture, to develop economic opportunities in farming. Through the New Immigrant Agriculture Project, MFA has partnered with farmers according to their needs - presently, a reliable customer for specific produce. This challenge is especially complex given the growers' seasonal mix of fresh produce. Small growers in particular struggle to access the retail market alongside large distributors. These distributors are able to undercut prices offered to small growers while providing a larger variety of produce through suppliers in places like California and Florida, where growing seasons are longer and the climate more favorable. However, the more salient barrier relates to transportation logistics and volume of locally grown produce. Some marketing and relationship building in food distribution chains can increase consumer and retailer awareness of local products. For example, health and community conscious buyers increasingly identify positive growing practices through certification and branding. Balancing these considerations, MFA can choose a plan of action to meet high demands for fresh produce. The report discusses the possibilities of several marketing strategies and models.

Publication date: 
Prepared in partnership with the Minnesota Food Association by the Community Assistantship Program (CAP), administered by the Center for Urban and Regional Affairs (CURA) at the University of Minnesota.
21 pp.
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