Connecting Corporate Supply Chains with Small Business to Diversify and Innovate

Supplier Connection, a free online portal created by the IBM Foundation and part of the Obama Administration’s American Supplier Initiative, helps connect small businesses to private sector supply chains.  It aims to address four key challenge areas for small businesses: access to mentorship and counseling services, increased market and revenue opportunities, ready sources of capital to fund their growth, and a highly skilled workforce.

Healthy Foods Here Produce Guide and Merchandising Tips

The goal of the Healthy Foods Project Project, which is a collaboration between King County Public Health Department and the Seattle Office of Economic Development, is to make healthy food available in the county by supporting local businesses and providing resources on healthy foods. Some of the resources on the website include merchandising tips to help retailers sell healthy foods, a produce manual that provides basic care information on over 50 types of produce. Their resource guides for produce store owners are currently available in English, Spanish, Somali and Korean.

USDA Agriculture Marketing Service (AMS)

AMS provides many resources related to food access, including farmer markets and local foods, agriculture community supported agriculture, supply chains and marketing. The new AMS Food Desert webpage from the Departments of Agriculture, Treasury, and Health and Human Services, regarding how food deserts are identified, grant opportunities, success stories, FAQs and a summary of the USDA’s initiative, and food desert census track data. Resources for grants are listed on the site and include opportunities in 19 programs within the Departments of Health and Human Services, Treasury and Agriculture.

Regional Food Hubs: Understanding the Scope and Scale of Food Hub Operations

This presentation presents findings from interviews conducted with the help of the Food Hub Tactical Team which is comprised of the Wallace Center, USDA Agriculture Marketing Service, Rural Development, Food and Nutrition Service, the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, Economic Research Service and Agricultural Research Service. The Food Hub Tactical Team looks at how to develop viable local and regional food systems by conducting interviews with food hubs, identifies the core components of a food hub, and offers examples of models from across the country.

Emerging Market Opportunities for Small Scale Producers

This report is the result of a proceeding of a special session at the August 2008 panel discussion that brought community based organizations that work with socially disadvantaged farmers together. The report offers information on farm-to-consumer marketing tactics, market channels available for farmers to increase their farm-to-firm sales and case interviews with produce buyers from Whole Foods and Keany Produce Company.

Guide To Marketing Channel Selection

This guide on “How to Sell through Wholesale and Direct Marketing Channels” comes from Cornell University’s Tomkins County Cooperative Extension and provides information on successful marketing to small to medium sized fruit and vegetable growers. Topics covered include marketing channel combinations, wholesale buyer expectations, post-harvest handling and tips for building successful relationships with grocery stores and food retailers.

New Entry Sustainable Farming Project

This “Plain Language Guide to Starting a Value Added Food Business,” from the Northeast Network of Immigrant Farming Projects, provides information on processing raw fruits and vegetables and how to package  and market value-added products effectively.

Journal of Food Distribution Research - March 2011

The March 2011 edition of the Journal of Food Distribution Research, published by the Food Distribution Society, includes articles on farm-direct marketing and food sales, consumer perceptions of agriculture products, case studies and risk management training for small farmers.

Rural Grocery Stores: Importance and Challenges and Ownership Models that Work

The role of grocery stores in rural communities is discussed in a set of reports from John Bailey, Director the Center for Rural Affairs. The first report, Rural Grocery Stores: Importance and Challenges 2010 discusses the cause and effect that disappearing grocery stores have on rural areas and the six major challenges facing grocery store owners. The second report, Rural Grocery Stores: Ownership Models that Work for Rural Communities identifies the four primary models for ownership of grocery stores in rural communities.