Posted on June 11, 2015 by Kaitlin Koch, Michigan State University Extension
With Michigan’s growing season nearly upon us, it can be helpful to stop and consider new markets for your products this year. Depending on what type of operation you have, most of your product may already have a destination. Other growers may not have such a clear idea of where their products will end up. This article provides an overview of “Farm to Institution” and could help farmers determine if selling to Michigan institutions, like schools and hospitals, is the right thing to do.
There are many benefits to selling to institutions if you can successfully establish a relationship with an institutional purchaser. These purchasers are often looking for large volumes of products, on a regular and predictable schedule. Many institutions are willing to accept seconds, depending on the product, and could provide a market for goods that are otherwise difficult to sell in direct markets. Some purchasers are willing to create a plan with growers for the upcoming season and commit to purchasing specific quantities.