Marketing Michigan Products: A Step-by-Step Guide

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February 1, 2010 - Author:

Welcome to Marketing Michigan Products to Schools: A Step-By-Step Guide.

Follow these steps to market your Michigan agricultural products to school food service for school meals programs, special events, and/or fundraisers. Communication, flexibility, and understanding risks and benefits are keys to success, and relationships are the heart of farm to school!

Step 1: Get Started

  • Determine your interest and ability to market your farm products to schools, and compile information about your farm, products, and business practices before you talk with local schools about this market opportunity.
  • Food safety is a priority for schools. Prepare a food safety program for your farm, consider getting a GAP (Good Agricultural Practices), GHP (Good Handling Practices) and/or other third-party audit, and/or complete a food safety self-audit to assure school customers that your products are safe.
  • Schools typically require food vendors to have product liability insurance to provide coverage for any food safety issues that may arise with food products. You may want to consider additional insurance types depending upon your farm practices and needs.
  • Keep good records! Know your costs of production in order to appropriately price your products. One good resource is Telfarm, a financial record keeping system available from Michigan State University Extension’s Farm Information Resources Management (FIRM) Team at http://www.canr.msu.edu/telfarm/.
  • Become familiar with school food funding to understand how school food service directors purchase food, including local food. If you would like to learn more about School Food Programs and Regulations, see Appendix II.

Download the rest of the steps to learn more!

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Related Topic Areas

Michigan Farm to School, Michigan Farm to Institution Network


Authors

Colleen Matts

Colleen Matts
517-432-0310
matts@msu.edu


For more information visit:

Center for Regional Food Systems

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