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Panhandle Fresh Looking for More Farmers

Panhandle Fresh Looking for More Farmers

Panhandle Fresh is a marketing asociation formed to help local farmers sell to Wal-Mart and other retail chains.

Panhandle Fresh is a marketing association formed to help local farmers market their produce collectively to food distributors such as Walmart and Sysco.

The Panhandle Fresh Marketing Association (PFMA) is seeking new growers in the panhandle. They currently market fresh produce to area Wal-Mart stores, Sysco Gulf Coast, and several other area vendors. Panhandle Fresh is seeking additional small to medium sized commercial growers, who are willing to undergo a third party audit, comply with grading standards, and transport under refrigeration.

Consumers are increasingly interested in purchasing locally grown food, yet local production and distribution are currently not able to match the demand.  PFMA was established through an Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) grant with the mission to help local farmers meet consumer demand for locally grown food. The potential impacts of the grant are to:

  • Increase the supply of specialty crops
  • Increase profitability and sustainability of small farms
  • Create a distribution center to reach all market sectors
  • Expand marketing options to meet consumer demand for locally grown produce
  • Increase community awareness

What Farmers Should Know

Panhandle Fresh Marketing Association (PFMA) is a marketing co-op of small growers.  PFMA began in November 2007 as a 501 C4 not for profit organization, and was created for the purpose of assisting small to medium size farmers expand their current markets. This association is open to farms in the gulf-coast region and currently has 15 farmers located in the Florida counties of Escambia, Santa Rosa, Okaloosa and Walton; and Mobile and Baldwin in Alabama.

PFMA Services for Farmers:

  • Liability Insurance Policies
  • Marketing Materials
  • Vendor Identification Numbers
  • Distribution Assistance
  • Bookkeeping and Accounting Assistance
  • Food Safety Training and Certifications

Benefits of PFMA:

  • Improving Farmers’ Profits
  • Improving Agricultural Sustainability
  • Logistical and Infrastructure Support through a Distribution System

You can learn more about this marketing association from their website:  Panhandle Fresh.  To join PFMA, or to get more specific details on grower requirements, contact Kayla Gude at (850) 380-3918 or mkt.pfma@gmail.com. 



Author: Doug Mayo – demayo@ufl.edu

Jackson County Extension Director, & Livestock & Forages Agent

My true expertise is with beef cattle and pasture management, but I can assist with information on other livestock species, as well as recreational fish ponds.

Doug Mayo

Permanent link to this article: http://okaloosa.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2013/06/08/panhandle-fresh-looking-for-more-farmers/