Observations of the various efforts necessary in an initiative, the Small Farmer-Tuskegee University-Walmart Project, to assist small farmers to comply with produce industry standards and supply produce to a major retailer over a six-year period were documented through an illustrative case study. The observations were taken from meetings with commercial buyers and farmers, site visits to processing centers and corporate farms, conference calls, and, mainly, from the authors’ “hands-on” participation with the functioning and preservation of this initiative. Consequently, these observations were organized into a framework of criteria that must be successively satisfied to be able to supply produce commercially. These criteria were capacity, capability, quality, food safety, consistency, sustainability, and marketability. A key finding was that for small farmers to meet these criteria, they required organization and support. It was concluded that although the effort was successful, the information gained through the effort was perhaps more valuable.
Keywords: Small Farmers, Produce Markets, Commercial Supply, Capacity
Vaughan, Barrett; Robinson, Miles D.; Zeigler, Audrey; Hunter, George X.; Wall, Gertrude; and Brown, John
"The Small Farmer-Tuskegee University-Walmart Project: Observations of the Steps within Commercial Supply,"
Professional Agricultural Workers Journal:
Available at: http://tuspubs.tuskegee.edu/pawj/vol4/iss2/5