[Market-farming] Grower's Association?

idyllwild farm idyllwildfarm at gmail.com
Wed Mar 9 07:00:09 EST 2011

Deep Root Growers Coop (based in VT, I think), PVGA (Pioneer Valley Growers
Coop) (Whately, MA?) and I think that CISA in MA may have some other ideas
or spins on growers coop type model (there are a group of growers in the
pioneer valley in MA who combine product and sell in Boston area sort of
like a CSA).
IMHO, I would focus on the basics to begin with. It's going to be hard
enough to get enough critical mass of crops, packed identically and with
identical quality to build a reliable brand that you can sell for decent
money. You'll need a collection point and someone to take the lead as a
seller. But in the cases I mentioned above, when it works, you can do well.
Good Luck,

On Wed, Mar 9, 2011 at 1:08 AM, Leslie Moyer <unschooler at lrec.org> wrote:

> Some growers in my area (including me) are interested in forming a grower's
> association and have scheduled a meeting to discuss this with other area
> growers.  In some areas, a farmers market might fulfill some of the roles we
> envision for such a grower's association, but not all of the roles.  In our
> area, the farmers market is ineffectual at best; counter-productive in some
> cases, and, at the moment, it doesn't look that that is going to change for
> a while.  We see this as encompassing more than any single farmers market
> anyway--at least in our rural area.
> Some of the possibilities we have talked about for this grower's
> association include: a buyer's coop, a communication network (email list
> and/or website), educational workshops, farm tours, cooperative selling
> (including institutional sales), integrated growing strategies, increasing
> the number and variety of sales outlets (including extending the season of
> existing outlets), operation of retail outlet(s), sharing capital resources
> (such as land, equipment, processing facilities, etc.), buyer education, and
> more.  I know there are organizations out there in other places doing some
> of these things.  Can anyone point me toward other models we might look to
> as we go about structuring this group and figuring out its mission, purpose,
> and goals?
> --Leslie
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