Inconsistent volume and availability of local product is often cited as a problem by food distributors and wholesalers who sell food to the food service industry. Our food supply system has become global and as such has the capability to supply almost any food item at any time of the year. The customer has come to expect product availability all the time. Locally (or regionally) produced fresh food often has seasonality to its production. Seasonality seemed to pose more problems to the food service industry and their suppliers than the retail grocer section of the industry. Whether a large foodservice institution or a boutique caterer, foodservice operators cite supply volume as a common barrier to sourcing locally. Producers should realize that smaller volumes are not always the barrier; chefs are usually happy to deal with smaller volumes of local product if there is a stream of communication between the farm and the chef about what is available.
Best Marketing Practices
- Speak with buyer about crop supply.
- Explain varieties or types of products.
- Have a regular price and available list.
- Identify the best way to reach the buyers.
- Explore season extending.