[Market-farming] Supermarket saying take back what doesn't sell

Willie McKemie mf at austinfarm.org
Fri Apr 15 22:08:41 EDT 2011

On Fri, Apr 15, 2011 at 07:28:29PM -0400, Roots Farm wrote:
> blind?  Is this standard operating procedure?  Any thoughts?

I've been selling directly to grocery stores for 30 years or so and 
what you describe has not been a problem.  When a produce manager says 
that a product had a quality problem or a shelf life problem, I give 
credit without question.  If that happens repeatedly, I drop that 
customer.  Generally, the store owns it when the delivery is accepted 
and is responsible for selling it.

You say you are charging your grocery store retail price.  My wholesale 
prices are near 50% of my retail prices.  Stores need to mark up their 
produce 75%-100% above their cost.  That's how they cover "shrink" (the 
product that doesn't get sold, mostly from lack of demand, age, or 
excessive handling).  It would make sense for your store to ask you to 
cover some shrink if his profit margin is too small.  Best, encourage 
him to have a good profit margin.

For many crops, I prefer to sell wholesale.  The wholesale volume can 
be very high compared to my retail opportunities.  The risk is low.  It 
is a real disaster when you are depending on sales from a farmers 
market that gets rained out or otherwise has lower than expected sales.

Willie, ONWARD!  Through the fog!
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