Vegetable Consignment Booth

stanhill2000February 23, 2009

I heard that our market is considering having a vegetable consignment booth where anyone with extra veggies can drop them off and if their produce is sold they get 50% of the sale. Does anyone have any experience with this or feelings about how this might effect the market? I wonder if this is fair to the regular produce vendors? How would you feel about having a produce consignment booth at your market? Thank you.

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boulderbelt(5/6)

I do not think this would be at all fair to the regular vendors, some of which are probably making their living growing what they sell.

I also do not see this as a good way for back yard growers to get into selling their produce (often a reason given for this kind of thing) as they will not learn how to market themselves and will miss out on the experience of selling at the farmers market.

it would be far better if the produce people dropped off went to the local food bank. A savvy market manager could get a lot of free and positive publicity doing this and of course the community wins as well.

There are better ways for the market to raise money that would not be in direct competition with the vendors such as a friends of the market program or grants from the state or feds.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2009 at 5:54AM
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gardener1908

I agree with boulderbelt. It would cut into profits for regular vendors (people would wait for reduced produce). It would be far better to donate to a local food bank for those who really need the break, and the PR would be good for the donor. Plus, if it were me, it would make me feel a whole lot better to give it to some family who needs it.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2009 at 5:43PM
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ekgrows

I agree with Boulder and Gardener.

Another thing to consider is liability. As market vendors, we are required to have insurance - just in case someone were to get sick from something we grew, etc. Would the market be liable for the dropped off produce? If there was some problem with the produce, how would it affect the market, and how would it be traced back to the grower?

The whole idea seems risky. I'd urge your market board not to pursue this.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2009 at 4:57PM
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RichardRBrown

I agree of vegetable consignment services

Here is a link that might be useful: Easy consignment

    Bookmark   October 29, 2013 at 3:04AM
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myfamilysfarm

They are brokers. They take the produce and IF it sells, you'll get money. IF it doesn't sell, you are out. They are many brokers throughout the US.

Example, if you have a glut of tomatoes, you pay for each box and you take to the broker, he/she either charges you a fee for taking the boxes (standard practice) and then tries to sell them. Most brokers have regular customers, but many aren't as successful as others. If you have a glut, chances are your neighbors are glutted with tomatoes also. So nobody wants to buy tomatoes, and the broker can't sell them. You are out the fee and the price of the boxes and the labor for growing/picking the tomatoes.

Brokers work well for the huge companies, but I haven't see tham work well for the smaller growers, less than 30 acres.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2013 at 11:43AM
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hillbillymick

I think more specifics would be needed, before making a judgment. I doubt that I personally would be interested, but if I was doing this as a living I might take a maybe 50%, over more compost, in the right (or I ain't got time to mess with them) conditions.

I didn't think internet marketing of veggies would work, but it is, and that is consignment sales. Many farmers do not enjoy the marketing part of the business.

I also like the idea of donating to a food bank, which is what I basically do with excess veggies , now. Except my food bank is mainly folks I know who really can not afford 'em, and do appreciate them. It comes around.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2013 at 10:30AM
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myfamilysfarm

Brokers, that I know, usually don't give 50%, more than 1/3 Max.

some food banks, ours, want all produce to have a 7 day shelf life without refrigeration. so many people that donate don't realize that the food bank really don't know how to take care of the stuff. Believe me, I've been on the hand-out side along with the giving side.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2013 at 11:16AM
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lazy_gardens

The farmer's market in my tiny town has a consignment booth - I think it's a 60/40 split, and the conditions are the same as for things grown by the "regulars". (No pesticides or herbicides on the crop, must be grown/made within the state by the seller/consigner or their family, applicable food handling regs apply).

The products I see there are seldom competing with the regular growers, and sometimes are from the "regulars".

They also have a sign-in whiteboard there so you can see who brought what. If Jenny brought leeks and Manuel brought lamb and Fred has potatoes ... I have Irish stew.

EXAMPLES:
A load of peaches from a Navajo guy who came to town and dropped them off before shopping. They had a bumper crop and the clan was up to their tushes in ripe peaches.

I dropped off a mass of fresh basil because I was leaving town and didn't want to leave it for the grasshoppers. A quick buck for me, and helped the tomato sellers.

Small quantities of anything from a regular grower ... early or late harvest stragglers, test crops, bed clean-outs, etc.

The "it's lambing/calving/farrowing season" or "out of town for a rodeo/club gig" produce from regulars who don't have the day free to sell produce. They can dump and run or send a neighbor in with it.

The "leftovers" when someone has almost sold out and needs/wants to go home.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2013 at 9:52AM
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randy41_1

the market i sell at runs a store where they sell vendors products. they sell shelf space at a monthly rent plus 4% of sales. not many vendors participate.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2013 at 12:18PM
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