Benchmarks for Supplying Produce to Commercial Buyers: A Case Study with Small Farmers
Barrett Vaughan, Ph.D.

An illustrative case study of a six-year research-outreach initiative that successfully assisted small and limited-resource farmers to supply produce a commercial buyer revealed benchmarks that were necessary to meet. The case study data was gathered from a variety of sources, including meetings with commercial buyers and farmers, site visits to processing centers and corporate farms, conference calls, and interviews with personnel involved with the “hands-on” operation of the effort. These data were organized into a set of benchmarks that must be successively met in order to supply produce commercially; these benchmarks were capacity, capability, quality, food safety, consistency, sustainability, and marketability. It was concluded that for small and limited-resource farmers to meet these benchmarks, organization and external support would be required.

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