Wholesale Success Workshop will prepare regional farmers for new markets, regulations


An upcoming workshop will prepare specialty crop growers for success in wholesale markets. Farmer, author, and consultant Atina Diffley will lead the workshop, hosted by FamilyFarmed and The Land Connection. Farmers will learn how to tackle the complex issues of selling to restaurants, stores, and other large buyers, especially in light of new food safety regulations. The workshop will be held at Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery at 4410 N Lincoln Ave, Champaign, IL, on February 2 from 9:00am-5:00pm, and costs $40.00. Registration can be found online athttps://thelandconnection.org/tlc-store/wholesale-success-workshop. Scholarships are available.

Atina-CropHow farmers handle their product affects the post-harvest quality and safety of food, and the quality of farmers’ relationships with buyers. Integrating food safety systems into postharvest practices and market relationships supports the development of farm systems that are viable, cost-effective, and scale appropriate. Buyers in all markets are increasingly expecting farmers to be proactive about the safety of the produce they sell.

This workshop is hands-on and designed for active learning. Participants in the program will do risk assessments in the classroom and develop action plans that are compliant with the Produce Rule of the new Food Safety Modernization Act. Participants will also develop record-keeping/traceability systems that align with the farm work, support decision-making, and maximize profitability while also meeting food safety requirements.

The instructor of the class, Atina Diffley, is an organic farmer and author of the 2012 award-winning memoir, Turn Here Sweet Corn: Organic Farming Works. Atina draws on her decades of experience in vegetable production and marketing to provide operators of produce farms of any size with useful, practical, profit-making guidance on how to achieve the highest quality produce for sale.

The day-long program will leave farmers prepared to handle food safely and economically, and to expand into new, larger markets. Participants will also receive a copy of the Wholesale Success manual, a $70 value.

About FamilyFarmed:

FamilyFarmed is a Chicago-based non-profit that is a national leader in building the Good Food movement and developing regional, sustainable food systems.

About The Land Connection:

The Land Connection is a nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting farmland, training sustainable and organic farmers, and promoting a vibrant local food system.