The Path to Food Sovereignty – Epi-3505 — 6 Comments

  1. Jack, lots of good points. And i have been operating with all these things in mind. Ive been trying to get going with a side gig selling fruit, since both you and I are essentially carnivore, and fruit is not a lare part of what i eat these days. I need your feedback, as im getting discouraged.

    By the way, you are the only reason i began approaching entreprenuership, so as not to be 100% dependent on my salary job.

    Im in a very holistic minded area,in the county west of asheville, nc. Last summer, i went to 10 different hoity-toity lodges/ golf courses/country club high end restaurants, cocktail bars, to offer my local, organic, regneratively grown fruit, in my county. I brought them all samples in pretty packaging, had very professional marketing materials, even a brochure telling an inspiring story, a solid buisness card, and dressed to impress. Price list and all. I got no takers/buyers. Many claimed to want to use local ingredients…but didnt follow thru with getting any product. I even had a trout farmer buddy of mine, who is a successful entrepreneur speak on my behalf, give me tips, halp me with contacts. Still, no high end restaurants followed through.

    Then, i applied to be a day vendor at the Farmers Market 9 miles from my farm. Rejected after a month of waiting, and them losing my application …in the middle of berry season. Would have been nice to know the reason, and the fact is that market has VERY little fruit, nor do they carry any organic grown fruit. Told to me by another vendor who sells grass fed beef. So, i think they just dont want free market competition btwn any sellers there. Or any threat to the purchasing of any of their own product.

    After that, then i put at least 10 fliers up across our county where community boards still exist…very little response.

    And then, since i have a lot of contacts thru church, etc, sent text price list/to around 20 people & passed onto their contacts. That where i had the most success, and the most buys. Overall, may have cleared $800. After spending $300 for packaging, labels, cards, and the canopy i never got to use at market.

    That was my year, last year, trying to sell. Im not convinced there is not enough supply of local organic/ regenerative fruit, as im going the most logical route.Im trying to stay in my county, at least, in my initial attempts, as i have limited time to travel with fresh fuit like berries, and rying to limit gas expense….

    What is your take on the issue? I basically priced my product about 30cents less per oz that local grocers would price them….

    Where am i going wrong??
    Oh yeah, i also posted on Craigslist….a very nice clear add with beautiful pictures..

  2. More background on Fruit selling:
    Didnt get any inquiries from the Craiglist Ad last year

    Did all this while juggling some all consuming health detox issues.

    The prior year or two (2021 or 2022), i was selling primarily to a local health food store, who happens to be a friend/ associate. I may have cleared 1500 that year. Her customer base has shrunk considerably, she says because of the following: A. Many of the health conscience (Californians) stopped travelling out here B. The granny women that were buying frozen berries for jams, etc, got ill or died off, sometime post the injection. 3….my perspective, is she’s burnt out of managing the store.

    I only had the time to use her as a buyer, as my health issues were very time consuming, as well as holding a full time job…that prevented me from expanding my customer base…

    Other than this lady, who never questioned my prices, im getting the drift that people were uncomfotable buying my product at the price i was asking. It was a little lower than the organic local grocery…

  3. New approach this year:
    Put out 10 fliers, at various, logical places i hadnt in the past, where people who are my target audience frequent. Lowered my prices to 1.00 below each type of organic fruit/packaging type,of all the sizes and per lb prices. Again, made a table comparing my fruit prices to the local grocers organic, and put it on my flier.

    I have also applied to be a market day vendor in the next closest county, that doesnt to be as restrictive, nor as much of a pain in the as. No feedback yet, however.

    It was recommended by someone who has a gig at a local hoity-toity local lodge, that i RECONTACT the place, to offer my product again… left a voicemail there today.

    And finally in the vein of Rogue Food, that i attended in TN a few years back…im attempting to circumvent the communists at the Farmers Market. By handwritten letter, Ive asked a private buisness owner near, inview of the Market, whether he would permit me the opportunity to offermu local organic fruit in his parkinglot. I delivered the letter this Am. Hopefully, he’s open to the idea. I will keep you posted. I know my product is of higher value that im now charging, but not enough people were willing to buy it at near organic prices.

    As an example, i asked the produce girl how many of the organic blackberries get thrown away in a week. EIGHTY percent. Tossed.
    Thus, folks aint willing to buy at those prices.

    Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

  4. Apologies for the lengthy dissertation, but i have done my due diligence, put in the work, and have a solid product. I believe people WANT fruit, don’t NEED fruit. What do you think?

    Next year, i may attempt to sell into the Asheville area, but it will take more time and expense to travel into. But im a bit concerned there may be many more organic growers selling there…maybe or maybe not enough supply…wont know till i try…

  5. I know what you talking about gardening is hard. Last year I had beautiful crop and Black Eyed Peas and every one of them got eaten totally out of the pod. It’s rats and mice and I set out a trap and cut two rat and one Mouse. I’m going to grow some this year but that traps going to be out there before whole time

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