Accessing Virginia’s Retail Market Sector: Fresh Produce Food Safety Considerations
Vallotton, Amber D.
Boyer, Renee Raiden
Cooke, Natalie E.
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Despite the growing demand and support for local food, there can often be significant barriers for growers trying to tap into new markets, given specific food safety expectations, policies, and requirements. This trend is particularly true for institutional buyers, who are often constrained by far-reaching institutional and/or corporate policies. While there are lots of market opportunities in Virginia, navigating the landscape for growers can be daunting, since buyer food safety requirements are not a “one size fits all” standard for all markets. To better understand current expectations and perceptions across multiple market sectors in Virginia, and help producers better align their on-farm practices with these marketplaces, the Fresh Produce Food Safety Team conducted a state-wide market assessment survey in 2015-2016. The purpose of this factsheet is to provide you with the results of that work, especially if you are considering selling produce to retailers.