Help please with food co-op consignment policies, procedures.

starwoodfarmMarch 8, 2007

I have volunteered to coordinate and clean up the consignment of local farmers' produce (my own included) at our local food co-op. Right now people just bring in their stuff, stick it on the shelves, and fill out a form requesting payment.

Anyone have or know of a source of policies, procedures or forms to help me from having to re-create it all?

Any thing related to certified organic, organic, or conventional would be particularly appreciated. I'm hoping to get the board to give first priority for shelf space to organic since it's an organic grocery. Duh

Thank you very much. Hope your season is coming together nicely!


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ohiorganic(5/6 SW Ohio)

I used to sell to a co-op on consignment and because I wanted to make some money I did the following. other growers pretty much put things in the fridge fresh and uncleaned from their gardens.

I made my own signage to put where ever the veggies were (mostly in a glass front reach-in)

I bagged everything and everything had a label so people knew where it came from. Everything was cleaned up. i think this is a good policy to have to require some standard of presentation. beginning growers often do not realize how important this is and you can be the entity to teach them a bit about salesmanship.

I made my own consignment sheet that had a place for what came in, what sold and the price before mark-up (my price). that way everyone was clear on what sold and how much money I was owed. And this was invaluable for my own records.

Anything that spoiled was taken out of the fridge and the worker wrote down what it was and how much. Otherwise I would charge them for the spoilage assuming the stuff had sold.

Each person bringing in things for consignment had their own envelop for their signs, notes on spoilage and their consignmnet sheet

if someone is certified organic you must ask for a copy of their certification papers and keep them on file. If they cannot produce said papers than they are not allowed to use the term organic in order to sell their food. But they can use locally grown, natural, ecological, etc..

Personally I would give dibs in this order: local cert. organic, local organic but not certified, local conventional than cert. organic that is not local

    Bookmark   March 8, 2007 at 5:43PM
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Thank you Lucy. I took your comments and some other stuff I found on the web and created this below, in case anybody else ever needs this. The co-op board and management is now looking this over, and so far the comments are positive.

The food co-op values the nutritional and taste differences in organically grown and locally grown produce. The co-op will offer such produce. Local produce will be sold with information on the grower and their growing practices. Produce will be sold at a price that allows for affordability for our customers. Local produce sales will help the Baker County economy.


Produce Department Policies and Procedures

A wide variety of well-priced organically grown produce will be sold at the Co-op. Produce will be allowed shelf space at the co-op with the following priorities

1. Local and certified organic
2. Local and grown organically although not certified organic
3. Certified organic from out of the area (e.g. Mt Peoples)

Produce that is not grown organically/naturally will not be sold at the co-op.

In order to obtain knowledge of the source and the growing environment of the locally grown produce, local produce growers will register. Only registered growers will be allowed to sell at the co-op. Registration will also facilitate a grower commitment to sell produce in a professional manner.

Customers will be given information on the local growers selling produce at the co-op. Information regarding growers and their practices (e.g. location, certified organic or not) will be prominently displayed on a poster in the produce department. A color will be assigned to each grower on the poster. Matching colored stickers will be used to identify the grower of each produce item.

Local growers are those within 50 miles of the food co-op.

The co-op recognizes that becoming certified organic is cost-prohibitive for most small local growers. In lieu of certification, growers will be identified as "natural" by attesting to growing practices that are free from synthetic chemical exposure. This includes fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides.

Local produce sales will be coordinated by a volunteer Produce Consignment Person (PCP).

Mt. Peoples produce is ordered on Monday mornings. Local growers will call their Monday delivery items in to the PCP by Sunday at 5:00 pm. The PCP will compile the available items into a list that will be delivered to the Produce Department Head by 8:30 Sunday evening.

In order to organize the acceptance of local produce, local growers will deliver their produce to the co-op during a certain time period (4 6 p.m. Monday afternoons?) and will have their produce checked in and placed on the store shelves at that time, and under the supervision of the PCP or a co-op staff member.

Consigners will be responsible for preparing their produce for sale. They will package their produce in plastic bags, put their colored sticker on the bag, price their items, and work with the PCP to place the produce on the shelves for sale.

Consigners will determine the amount desired for their products, keeping affordability and price competiveness in mind, while ensuring that they are fairly compensated. The consigner and the PCP will calculate the price for the product , multiplying the consigners price x 1.57(?). An invoice with the consigners price will be filled out so that a payment can be made to the consigner. Payment will not be made until at least two weeks(?) past the date the produce is put on store shelves. This is to allow time to make sure items sell.

Consigners will be responsible for checking on their produce each Monday and Thursday to assure that their produce is still sellable. Produce that has deteriorated in quality will be removed from the store and their invoice adjusted accordingly.

The co-op will only accept and sell produce that is fresh, high quality, insect free, has minimal insect damage, and has minimal residual field soil. Co-op staff reserves the right to reject any merchandise deemed unacceptable or inappropriate.

Farm Registration and Agreement Form

Farm Name ________________________________________________________

Owner Name(s) _____________________________________________________

Street Address ______________________________________________________

Mailing Address, if different ___________________________________________

Day Phone ________________________ Evening Phone ___________________

Are you certified organic? _____________________________________________

If not, do you adhere to the growing standards shown below? __________________

Grower Statement that you would like on the Co-opÂs grower informational poster:
(limit to 100 words)

__(Example my farm will use: Growing splendid food in our ecologically happy haven.)____

Agreement to Standards

I declare and affirm that the land on which I grow crops sold at the Baker Food Co-op is and has been free of non-organic substances. I further declare and affirm that the crops are grown only using natural fertilizers and soil amendments.

I declare that I strive to manage crop nutrients and soil fertility through rotations, cover crops, and the application of plant and animal materials.

If using animal manures, they:

1. are fully composted reaching a temperature of at least 131 degrees for 15 days during which period the materials are turned a minimum of five times; or
2. are incorporated into the soil not less than 120 days prior to the harvest of a product whose edible portion has direct contact with the soil surface or soil particles; or
3. are incorporated into the soil not less than 90 days prior to the harvest of a product whose edible portion does not have direct contact with the soil surface or soil particles;
I further declare that my property has distinct, defined boundaries and buffer zones to prevent the unintended application of a chemical substance to my crops.
I declare that I will follow the Baker Food Co-ops policies and procedures in the sale of my produce.

Farmer Signature: __________________________________ Date: ________________

    Bookmark   March 30, 2007 at 12:43PM
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