Feeding the Saints
Innovative direct marketing can enhance farm profits and provide a fresh, wholesome product to consumers.
Objective: To establish a direct sales and distribution system between a group of central Minnesota sustainable livestock and vegetable producers and three central Minnesota university food systems.
Methods: The coordinator planned to conduct a pilot effort to supply farm produce in the ‘97-98 school year to several universities. He wanted to produce the quantity and quality specified and create a business structure to represent farmers and universities. Another strategy was to develop cleaning and packing requirements and educate staff, students, and faculty on the value of regional food products.
Results: Selling to institutions failed due to budget constraints and fear of buying from farmers vs. food service contractors. However, 25 founders formed the Whole Farm Co-op, working with the Minnesota Food Association to distribute food to low-income families and market to individuals in a church.
North Central Region SARE 1998 Annual Report.