Quality Assurance, Temperature Control & Satisfaction Guarantee
It was universally stated by all the buyers interviewed, that they expect the farm vendor to "stand good for the product". What is meant by “stand good for the product”? Is it a 100% quality assurance guarantee upon delivery? In general, quality assurance means the product meets the company specifications, complies with the appropriate USDA grading and standards, and is of good quality and condition.
Temperature control varies by product and customer type when selling from the farm to the restaurant. You may be able to take chives in a cooler directly from your farm to the local country club—but that method may not meet an institution’s requirements (or generally accepted food safety practices) for purchasing ground beef. Maintaining the cold chain (a temperature-controlled supply chain) is crucial to delivering a quality product that will maintain product freshness and shelf life.
In marketing directly to restaurants, you’ll be competing with wholesalers that regularly make adjustments and credits when product quality was down. Guaranteeing the satisfaction of your product is critical to developing your farm’s relationship with a chef. Wholesalers often expected the farm vendor to stand by their products with a 100% satisfaction guarantee. All of the firms maintain the right to refuse a product if it does not meet their quality standards.
Check out some of our food safety and quality assurance resources below!
Discuss cold chain requirements with buyers
Educate yourself about safe food handling practices
Have the necessary documents for USDA and local health inspectors
Attend Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) / Produce Best Practices (PBP) Training
Interested in GAP or PBP Training?
Check out the cost-share program from our partners at the Kentucky Horticulture Council: here.
Check out the resources for Produce Best Practices here, from our friends at the Center for Crop Diversification.
Here is the Food System Innovation Center's contact for GAP Training:
Paul Vijayakumar - Assistant Extension Professor, Dept. of Animal & Food Science