Marketing & Sales Series: Pt 3 ~ Safe, Inexpensive & Sustainable Packing Tips!

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There’s a lot to consider when packing for market, such as food safety, box sourcing, labeling, standard pack sizes, and much more. Today, we continue our Marketing & Sales series with tips from Community Alliance with Family Farmers (CAFF), Riverdog Farm, and Full Belly Farm on how to pack your product safely, inexpensively, and sustainably. We also give some great leads on box and supply companies referred by our farmer community. Read on for valuable tips about:

  • Packing and Food Safety
  • Wholesale Pack Requirements
  • Bulk Order Boxes & Labels
  • Cardboard Boxes & Supplies
  • Reusable Packaging

Packing and Food Safety

You’ve got to get your product to market, and that means putting it in some sort of packaging. While it might seem easier to just throw it in a box, there are guidelines – some by law and some required by different types of customers – that you must follow. Here are some tips from Heather Granahan, the North Coast Regional Food System Advisor for CAFF, on how to pack safely in the field and the packing house.

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Marketing & Sales Series: Pt 1 ~ Comparing Your Sales Channels

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With the ongoing popularity of our Water & Drought Management and Labor & Worker Safety series, we’re excited to announce our next two-month series of blog features about Marketing & Sales. 

This new series will be a mix of practical resources created by our partners combined with farmer stories and useful tips. We are pulling information from branding experts, food safety and value-added food specialists, experienced vegetable and livestock farmers, and farms of all sizes developing their marketing and sales strategy.


To kick things off, we’re discussing the importance of choosing the right mix of sales channels for your operation. There are many issues to consider and many different channels to get your product to the final end-consumer.

Read on as we help you think about your strategy, how to choose the channels that will work for you, and – most importantly – maximize your profit!

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Stack ’em High, Watch ’em Fly ~ 10 Tips for Farmers Market Sales, Part 2

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Here is Part 2 of my farmers market blog, including the second round of tips for achieving a well-managed, high-sale market stall. See Part 1 for the first five tips!

Two weeks ago I visited three farmers markets in the Bay Area to answer the questions:

  • How can farmers adjust to the slower winter months?
  • How can farmers make their stalls look inviting, abundant and eye-catching this time of year, when stocks are seemingly low?
  • What are the tricks of the trade to maintain sales?

Having come from Vermont, I started my casual research with the assumption that winter means fewer sales and greatly diminished product variety. I was surprised to learn that that’s not exactly the case. In California, there is almost the same amount of variety all year long.

What actually changes the most this time of year is the color palette, which can give a customer like me the sense that there is less to choose from. In the winter months, out go the baskets of red and pink tomatoes, and in come the dark leafy greens – and many different varieties of them!

So, with some of my initial assumption of less to choose from disproven pretty quickly, I then asked the vendors what tricks they use, and would suggest to other farmers, to best manage their stalls, and lure people in. The tricks and tips were endless!

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Optimize Your Crops with Variety Trials! ~ Upcoming Field Day and Q&A with OSA’s Jared Zystro

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Comparing different carrot seed varieties

This week we spoke with Jared Zystro, California Research and Education Specialist for the Organic Seed Alliance (OSA), about the usefulness, ease and importance of on-farm seed variety trials. Although the variety trial process might seem intimidating, the benefits of better crop performance and new market opportunities make it worth every farmer’s time.

If you want to find out which vegetable seeds performed the best, learn variety trial techniques, and meet Jared, this weekend, Dec. 7th, OSA is hosting a Variety Trial Field Day at Riverdog Farm in Guinda, CA, to evaluate an ongoing organic vegetable trial. This is a great way to learn the basics, talk with an expert, and see what the folks at Riverdog are up to. See you there!

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