[New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station]
Jersey Fresh Information Exchange
Photo: Jersey Produce

Wholesaling Local

Formisano Farms, Buena, NJ.
You can see and almost taste the freshness in the color of John Formisano's just harvested table beets.
Formisano Farms, Buena, NJ.
Rutgers Cooperative Extension launched an innovative produce distribution and merchandising pilot project in 2004 to help New Jersey farmers get their products into new retail locations, such as white-table restaurants and grocery chains. Less than a month after a kickoff meeting that brought New Jersey growers face-to-face with noted New Jersey chefs, national chain grocers and multi-state distributors, these new relationships had already turned into critically needed new sales.

"Our New Jersey farmers grow the best produce in the country, yet they are struggling to make ends meet and each year it is becoming harder and harder," said Jack Rabin, Associate Director of Farm Services for Rutgers New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station. "They are trying to compete with huge growers in California, Florida and Chile and they have a relatively short growing season in which to make their profits for the entire year. Our goal was not to create a new distribution system, but to help our farmers increase their exposure by introducing them to new outlets and increasing their visibility in a crowded marketplace."

The pilot began with approximately 15 chefs at restaurants in the Princeton and New Brunswick areas, several Jersey distributors and grocery chains, Wegmans and Shop Rite. If you have any questions, please Contact Us.

Press Releases:
June 11, 2004 - Rutgers Cooperative Research & Extension Brings Together Historic Alliance of NJ Farmers, Grocers, Chefs and Distributors to Save Jersey Farms