There are a number of Washington state regulations that pertain to the sale of agricultural products, farm labor, insurance, on-farm processing, etc. that should be reviewed. The Washington State Department of Agriculture has written a book that covers these regulations. The so called GreenBook of Regulations for Direct Farm Marketing is an invaluable resource for the residents of Washington. It can be either viewed on-line as a PDF file or obtained by calling the WSDA Small Farm and Direct Marketing Program at 360/ 902-1884. There is no charge for this publication.
Wholesaling Remains Prominent
There are a number of horticultural crops that lend themselves to wholesaling as well as further processing. On larger pieces of ground (10 acres and more) the direct sales single crops such as berries, bulbs, in-ground nursery stock, or medicinal herbs can be logistically very challenging. The sheer volume of fragile produce, dried product tonnage, or number of units harvested per acre on a piece of ground can over-whelm the local capacity for direct sales. A considerable number of the crops grown in the Pacific Northwest are exported out of the region or even out of the country. In 2004 the total value of agriculture in Washington state surpassed $5.8 billion dollars. Larger corporate farms and food processors in the Northwest are largely based on wholesaling. From a personal standpoint, farmers that don’t enjoy salesmanship often find the rewards of production can compensate for the challenges of also having to sell a crop at maturity.
Direct Marketing, ATTRA – National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service.
Farming on the Edge: Sprawling development threatens America’s best farmland. American Farmland Trust, Washington, D.C.
Farmer Direct Marketing, United States Department of Agriculture.
Evaluating a rural enterprise, ATTRA – National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service.
How to direct farm market products on the Internet. United States department of Agriculture Agricultural Marketing Service.