Learn How to Market Fruits and Vegetables

Upcoming meetings will assist producers in developing markets for fruits and vegetables.

Producers interested in learning how to market local fruits and vegetables to foodservice and retail distributors are invited to attend one of a series of meetings sponsored by Iowa State University Extension.

"Many producers have been selling directly to customers through farmers markets and one-on-one sales," said Margaret Smith, at the Value Added Agriculture Program at Iowa State University Extension. "As producers expand from direct marketing to foodservice or retail markets, they need information on market demand, channels of distribution, as well as the requirements and preferences of the foodservice and retail customer."

At the workshop, producers will hear from distributors and retailers how to get their attention individually or collectively as a group to make sales. They will learn what it takes to deliver their products, and support sales through the distributor or retail networks.

The workshops feature food distributors and retailers, producers selling food through these market channels and exploration of opportunities, drawbacks, regulations and methods of marketing.

Workshop locations and registration information include:

* March 19--Jefferson County Extension Office, 2606 West Burlington Ave., Fairfield, Iowa, phone 641-472-6177

* March 20--Firehouse Restaurant, 1211 5th St., Sioux City, Iowa, phone 712-276-2157

* March 31--Iowa Dairy Foundation Center, 1527 Hwy. 150 S, Calmar, Iowa, phone 563-382-2949

* April 1--Warren Co. Farm Bureau, 200 West Second Ave., Hwy 92
Indianola, Iowa, phone 515-961-6237

For more information, contact Margaret Smith or Madeline Schultz at ISU's Value Added Agriculture Program at 515-294-0588 or [email protected].

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