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Written by Chris Zdorovtsov (Former SDSU Extension Community Vitality Field Specialist).


Hospitals, nursing homes, universities and other institutional buyers have the potential for large volume sales on a recurring basis. This could create a reliable customer for the grower and also allow the grower to focus on larger production acres of a smaller number of crops.

With institutional sales profit margins are likely thinner. Customers will require specifications that detail washing, packaging, grading, handling and processing procedures. These entities may also require a higher level of liability insurance. Ultimately they will demand a relationship that ensures the grower will reliably allow them to meet their commitments.

As in other wholesale markets the grower must consider if they have the acres and equipment for larger scale production. They must determine if a facility can be installed to harvest, clean sort and store large quantities of produce efficiently. They must purchase a delivery vehicle and maintain quality while transporting product on delivery routes. The grower must be prompt about filling orders through fax, email and phone and dedicate time to go on sales calls. Finally, the grower will likely need to accommodate organizations that are used to invoices and delayed payment periods.

Resources for Selling to Institutions

Resources for Institutional Buyers

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