Farmer Training: On-Farm Food Safety & Meeting the Needs of Wholesale Buyer...

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UIC Forum

725 West Roosevelt Road

Chicago, IL 60608

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Are you a farmer wondering how the new Federal food safety regulations (FSMA) will affect you? Or wondering how to reach new wholesale markets? Then sign up FamilyFarmed's March 22 and/or March 23 farmer training workshops being presented as part of the 2018 Good Food EXPO at UIC Forum.

On-Farm Food Safety & FSMA farmer training will be held on Thursday, March 22, 2018 as a Good Food Expo pre-conference event at the UIC Forum in Chicago. Find out if, and when, you need to be compliant with FSMA. This is a hands-on training designed for active learning. We will do risk assessments in the workshop to identify potential hazards, analyze how they move on farms, and determine if action needs to be taken or not. We will also develop record keeping/traceability systems that align with farm work, support decision-making, and maximize profitability while also meeting food safety requirements. Class participatns will receive a free 3-ring binder of food safety plan templates and action plans. Registration is FREE. Lunch will be available for purchase.

Wholesale Success: Meeting the Needs & Values of Wholesale Buyers farmer training will be held on Friday, March 23, 2018 as part of Good Food EXPO programming at the UIC Forum in Chicago. Meeting the needs and values of wholesale produce buyers is fundamental to creating a healthy long-term relationship. How to actively seek buyers is just the start. Who is your customer and why do they buy? Maintaining the relationship requires attention to details from bunch sizes, labels, and lot codes, contracts, pricing, communication, sequential planting, quality control, trends and more. Learn how to serve the wholesale market and make your farm a highly desired source of fresh produce. Registration is FREE. Lunch will be available for purchase on the trade floor. This event is funded in partnership by USDA, Risk Management Agency, under award number RM17RMEPP522C038.

Attendees at both workshops will receive a free copy of Wholesale Success: A Farmer's Guide to Food Safety, Selling, Postharvest Handling and Packing Produce ($70 retail value). Now in its fifth edition, Wholesale Success includes comprehensive sections on issues such as Building Relationships with Buyers, On-Farm Food Safety, Cooling and Curing Produce, Packing Shed Design, Proper Post-Harvest Handling and Calculationg Return on Investment. It also includes over 100 crop profiles that give specific harvesting, cooling, storage, and packing information on most of the fruits and vegetables grown in the United States.

Both workshops both will be led by Atina Diffley. Atina is the longtime organic farmer who has been lead instructor for our training programs, which have reached almost 14,000 farmers in 43 states.

Proposed Agendas:

March 22, 2018, Good Food EXPO Farmer Training Workshop – ON-FARM FOOD SAFETY & FSMA

8:30 – 9 Registration (networking, beverages and food)

9-10:45 Identify Your Needs and Systems

- Food Safety Plans Relevant For Your Farm: FSMA Produce Rule, regulations and your buyers’ demands

- Profit-related recordkeeping and traceability systems

11:00-12:15 Focused Plan For Maximum Results

- Human Health and Hygiene, and Worker Training

1:15 – 2:45 Land Use, Water, and Fertility - Risk Assessment Aligned With Conservation Practices

- Bring along several maps of your farm that you can write on and your favorite writing tools

3-4:30 Maximize Postharvest Quality and Address Food Safety

- Harvest, Postharvest, and Transportation Policies and Practices

4:30 – 5:00 Wrap-up - Individual next steps


8:30-9:00 Networking Breakfast

9:00-10:30 Opening Symposium

10:30-10:45 Beginning Farmer of the Year Award Presentation

11-12:30 Wholesale Success Part 1

- Meet The Needs and Values of Buyers

- In this session each participant will do a market analysis of their customers’ needs and values.

- Suitable for all types of farmers

- Handout: Market Analysis Worksheet

12:30-1:45 Lunch

1:45- 3:15 Wholesale Success Part 2

- Market: Promote Your Farm Brand

- This session will focus on creating a “brand kit” to promote your farm consistently.

- Suitable for all types of farmers

- Handout: Brand Kit Worksheet

3:30- 5:00 Wholesale Success Part 3

- Working With Wholesale Buyers

This session will focus on building healthy relationships with wholesale buyers. We will actively discuss communication and doing business, sorting & packing standards, post harvest and shelf life expectations, marketing and merchandising, and more.

- A panel of buyers will participate

  • o Local Foods/Distributor to Restaurants
  • o McCormick Place/Savor
  • o Dill Pickle Coop

- Handout: Buyer/Producer Discussion Guide

5:00-7:00 Reception (Networking/Meet the Buyer)

Check out our website for more information on these trainings and our entire schedule of 2018 farmer training workshops!

New for 2018 – Highlighting Illinois Specialty Crop Farmers! Scholarships are available for Illinois Specialty Crop Farmers to Exhibit at the Good Food EXPO. The first 20 Illinois Specialty Crop farms to register for exhibit space Friday, or Friday/Saturday (Saturday only exhibit registration does not qualify for this scholarship) can receive $370 off of the regular registration price. Please contact FamilyFarmed at prior to registration. More details here!

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UIC Forum

725 West Roosevelt Road

Chicago, IL 60608

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