The Small Farmers Agricultural Cooperative Today

Abstract

Abstract The Small Farmer-Tuskegee University-Walmart Project was designed to provide technical support to train at least 200 farmers on best practices in marketing produce to large companies such as Walmart. Activities included specialized training, workshops, and informational group meetings, and overall awareness of market opportunities. The specialized trainings included food safety standards and food safety certification requirements, efficient production techniques, harvesting, grading, packaging, refrigeration/cold chain requirements, transportation, fiscal responsibility, financial management, record-keeping, and insurance and product liability. As part of the process, Tuskegee University assisted with the formation of the Small Farmers Agricultural Cooperative, which is comprised of members from Central and South Alabama. Cooperative training included the benefits of farmers working together; internal management and controls; sharing of knowledge, resources and experience; doing business at higher volumes/quantities, and operating at a higher level of quality assurance; thus, ensuring the improvement in marketing opportunities. Keywords: Cooperative, Produce Marketing, Small Farmers, Small Farmer-Tuskegee University-Walmart Projec

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