Collaborating to Access New Markets, 2011
The "Collaborating to Access New Markets" workshop, offered by the UC Small Farm Program, focused on ways small- and medium-sized growers can pool resources to better compete in wholesale markets and other larger distribution networks.
The workshop was held June 29, 2011 in Woodland, Calif.
Reports and other handouts
These were printed and passed around at the meetings.
- YoCal Produce Cooperative: The Growers’ Story and the Cooperative Principles (PDF)
History and analysis of a cooperative made up of early organic farms in Northern California's Capay Valley during the 1980s, as told by former members. UC Small Farm Program research brief, updated February 2012.
- Starting a Cooperative
- Example Outline of Feasibility Study Report Components (see Fig. 6, p. 12)
Below are some of the PowerPoint presentations from the meeting. A notes from meeting discussions and brainstorming sessions is also available.
- The Cooperative Principles and their Impacts on YoCal (202 kB)
– Shermain Hardesty, director, UC Small Farm Program
- Tuscarora Organic Growers (coming soon)
– Jim Crawford, president, Tuscarora Organic Growers
- Capay Valley Farm Shop (1.8 MB)
– Dru Rivers, Capay Valley Farm Shop board member
"Many growers are trying to expand their markets, and they can’t do it all by themselves," said Shermain Hardesty, director of the UC Small Farm Program and agricultural economist at UC Davis. "By working together, small- and medium-sized farmers can save time and money. We’re not just talking about a vague concept, but talking about specific tools that can help farmers grow their businesses."
Featured at the event was Jim Crawford, farmer and president of Tuscarora Organic Growers cooperative in Pennsylvania. Crawford has more than two decades' worth of experience leading a collaborative marketing service to sell to urban wholesale markets. Tuscarora Organic Growers is owned entirely by member farmers who share shipping and marketing costs to retail grocery stores, food co-ops and restaurants in the Washington, D.C., metro area. The cooperative currently works with more than 50 producers to distribute about 100,000 cases of fresh produce and flowers each year.
Also speaking at the event were Capay Valley farmers Dru Rivers and Jeff Main to discuss lessons learned from their experiences as founders of YoCal Produce Cooperative in California. Though no longer in operation, YoCal's decade of marketing collaboration served as a building block to many of the ventures that Capay Valley growers participate in today.