dealing with Whole Foods/Wegmans

mbrown297(6b)November 22, 2004

We have two large upscale supermarkets near my home - Wegmans and Whole Foods. I have approached both of them about supplying heirloom tomatoes and both expressed some interest. I would like to know if anyone has experience selling to a large supermarket (pros and cons) and what is the supermarket markup on produce.

Thanks,

Mike

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robbins(z5/6 MO)

I've delt with Whole Foods and unless you are large enough to afford five million dollar liability insurance and are willing to have their name on your insurance it just doesn't work out. At this point Whole Foods thinks local means grown in the United States.

We did some business with them (our local store) but when the paper work started arriving in Austin,TX the folks there put a stop to it. We met all their requirements - except the insurance. The local produce manager here was really excited to have our fresh, local, certified organic produce, but the people in TX wouldn't allow it without the insurance.

Some groceries have an umbrella policy that covers all local small (think smaller than Con-Ag) growers - thus enabling that store to in fact have really fresh local produce. Unfortunately, in my opinion, at this point Whole Foods talks the talk, but ignores the walk!

Hopefully things will change soon - it was really nice to take hundreds of pounds of heirloom tomatoes to a store AND be paid a fair price. And our farmers' market customers loved knowing they could get our heirloom tomatoes at Whole Foods during the week.(After they stopped buying from us we saw organic heirloom tomatoes at the WF store - they had been picked at first breaker and looked awful!)

It will be wonderful when more stores understand the importance of local, sustainable farming and really start supporting it! It is important that all customers ask their stores "where is the LOCAL produce" and if it is of good quality BUY IT!

Robbins - who now will step off her soap box and get out to cover the greens with row cover before it turns cold tomorrow.

    Bookmark   November 23, 2004 at 11:19AM
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