Montana Food on Montana Plates
Helping Montana agricultural producers and processors market to Montana food service establishments
Once you have gained some marketing experience and built production and delivery capacities, you may wish to consider selling to wholesale accounts, such as restaurants, colleges, schools, hospitals, and other institutions. Creating a relationship with these institutions can help diversify your customer base and create a stable market for your products.
Begin by registering with the Montana Farm to Cafeteria Network and the Abundant Montana Directory.
The National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) created the Montana Farm to Cafeteria Network with the goal of supporting local economies by encouraging institutions to provide nutrition, locally-sourced food in their cafeterias. Their website includes a Producer Database -- those food producers, processors, and distributors who are interested in supplying institutions -- and an Institution Database -- those Montana institutions utilizing local food systems.
Produced by AERO (Alternative Energy Resources Organization), the Abundant Montana Directory is an interactive database of producers, food processors, farmers markets, agritourism attractions, and other organizations committed to using locally-grown food and agricultural products. The database can be utilized by institutions and individual consumers to plan unique and authentic food and farm experiences. Add your name to the database by visiting the website and clicking on "Submit a Listing."
It Can Be Done!
Purchasing Local Food - Guidelines for Montana School Food Service Programs
Developed by Montana State University's Team Nutrition and the Office of Public Instruction, with help from the Montana Department of Agriculture, this manual explains how schools can source and use local products, including Montana beef.
Click here to download the Purchasing Local Food Guidelines for Montana School Food Service Programs.
For additional assistance with selling to the food service industry, contact the Marketing Officer, and also refer to the Western Sustainability Exchange Market Connection Program.