If you’re a farmer, what are your options for selling product?
CSA’s, farmers markets, on farm sales, grocery stores, and buying clubs.
It’s one of the options that doesn’t get talked about a lot. But it’s the focus of this episode.
In this episode I am talking with Sheri Salatin of Polyface Farms about Polyfaces Metropolitan Buying Clubs.
In their words they describe buying clubs as a a local food distribution system that combines the real-time interfaces of online marketing with community-based interaction. These kinds of interfaces, without bricks and mortar, using the internet, create efficiency and economies of scale in local food distribution.
Sheri goes into a lot of the specifics about their buying club and talks about how she grew Polyface’s buying club from 30 customers to over 6000. 30 to over 600.
- How they manage their inventory
- How they started their buying club
- How their buying club grew
- How their buying club allowed them to grow the farm
If you don’t know much about buying clubs now, you will leave this episode knowing a lot about buying clubs.
“Whoever does the work makes the decision.”Sheri Salatin
Notes from the interview with Sheri Salatin
- Buying club – a group of food buyers who meet the farmers every X to pickup pre-ordered products.
- Product is delivered to the customer.
- Customer gets full selection.
- 40% of Polyfaces business.
- 6000 customers in a 3 to 4 hour one way drive.
- Each drop point needs to have a minimum order to have a delivery.
- How they started their buying club?
- They started small, slow and simple.
- How their buying club grew?
- High quality product.
- Rewarded word of mouth referrals.
- Get a discount on your order for referring someone.
- How their buying club allowed them to grow the farm.
- More customers, more land.
- Polyfaces uses $20 an hour for labor when pricing things.
- If you are doing a buying club it is important to be able to deliver product consistently.
- Do you have the product to deliver?
- Interesting business…. selling good quality dog food.
- “Whoever does the work makes the decision.”
- The person doing the work will have huge involvement.
- You own it.
- Techno Stealth – Metropolitan Buying Clubs DVD
Polyface’s Buying Club
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