By Nessa Richman, Research & Evaluation Director

Posted August 3, 2016


6 Tips for Food Distributors Who Want to Sell More Local Food

As demonstrated in our recent report on food distribution, interest in local food is strong across all institutional sectors. However, distributors still face significant barriers to meeting the growing institutional demand for local food. The following recommendations have the power to strengthen the distribution link of the farm to institution marketing chain. 

Six tips for food distributors who want to sell more local food to institutions:

  1. Promote available local food products to nearby schools, colleges, hospitals, and other institutions

  2. Promote the local food options you have available to your clients 

  3. Invest in local food logistics, tracking, and marketing systems and communicate clearly about local purchases with institutional clients 

  4. Cultivate multi-year contracts, seasonal agreements, and other buying commitments for local food from institutions and regional agricultural producers/ producer cooperatives 

  5. Consider lowering insurance requirements for small and medium-sized food producers to make them more affordable 

  6. Gather information about what area institutions require from distributors regarding food packing, shipping, invoicing, and safety certifications 


Photos courtesy of Red Tomato (vegetable boxes) and the Intervale Food Hub (staff moving crates of squash)