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Abstract

The Sustainable Agriculture Consortium for Historically Disadvantaged Farmers Program (SACH) was designed to carry out an experiment by five 1890 Land-Grant Universities in partnership with five farmer based cooperatives in five states to assess marketing fruits and vegetables to Walmart from a regional perspective. Using the Consortium as a case study, this study assessed the Consortium within the framework of implementation evaluation; data were collected using semi-structured interviews and document analysis. The study answered questions such as, what did the Consortium do, and what were some of the accomplishments of the Consortium? The farmers were able to: negotiate price points; develop a cold chain management system; properly package and store produce; and cultivate a mutually beneficial relationship with the buyer. Benefits derived from the Consortium included: providing supplemental income for the participating farmers; expansion of the existing regional food system; and promotion of good farm management practices.

Key Words: Historically Disadvantaged Farmers, Regional Food Systems, Collaborative Marketing, 1890 Land-Grant Universities, Small Farmers and Commercial Markets