•  
  •  
 

Abstract

The Walmart Initiative was designed to provide technical support to train at least 200 farmers on best practices in marketing produce to larger companies and corporations like Walmart. This support was provided through specialized training, workshops, informational group meetings, and overall awareness of market opportunities. The specialized training included Food Safety Standards and Food Safety Certification requirements, effective production techniques, harvesting, grading, packaging, refrigeration/cold chain requirements, transportation, fiscal responsibility, financial management, record-keeping, and insurance and product liability. As part of a five state initiative, Tuskegee University identified and assisted in the formation of the Small Farmers Agricultural Cooperative comprised of members from several regions throughout the State of Alabama. The Cooperative received training necessary to understand the importance of farmers working together, internal management and controls, sharing of knowledge, resources and experience, doing business at higher volumes/quantities, and operating at a higher level of quality assurance; thus, improving marketing opportunities.

Key Words: Cooperative, Produce Marketing, Small Farmers, Walmart Initiative