How to Choose the Right Wholesale Produce Supplier

If you own a business in the food industry, whether it’s as a grocer, wholesaler, or processor, you understand just how important finding the right produce supplier can be to the success of your business.

They are so many seemingly great options out there that all promise the freshest fruits and vegetables and responsive delivery times. But, how can you know for sure if you’ve chosen the correct distributor?

Food Waste = Affected Profits

Customers demand the highest quality products at the best prices. You want to ensure those expectations are met while growing the company’s profits at a healthy rate. A key component that affects profits, not discussed enough in the food industry, is the sheer volume of food waste a business can be left with after working with an unfit supplier. If produce reaches a company past its prime, damaged, or at a lower quality than expected, it’s almost guaranteed it will be disposed of. A spoiled shipment has a direct impact on your bottom line.

According to the Government of Canada’s report, Taking Stock: Reducing Food Loss and Waste in Canada, it’s estimated that 12% of Canada’s avoidable food loss and waste occurs during the retail phase of the supply chain and another 38% occurs in the restaurant and food services industry. The report goes into why the waste is occurring and lists reasons such as rejection of produce that does not meet visual quality standards, goods damaged upon receipt, inaccurate forecasting, and poor inventory management leading to oversupply. 

Understandably, a certain level of food loss can occur when handling perishable items. But, a large portion of the issues listed in the report, can be prevented by working with a distributor that will work closely with your business to understand its exact needs. 

City Wide Produce is a fantastic distributor option as they’ve been on both sides of the industry. Their motto is “You Grow, We Grow” and they absolutely deliver on that slogan. They know what buyers need from them, as they’ve been buyers too! Because of this, they take great pride in cultivating a friendly relationship with businesses and anticipating their needs to cut down on avoidable food waste.

Strong Supply Chains and Informed Product Knowledge

Further important factors when searching for a suitable supplier are the strength in their supply chain and just how informed their product knowledge is. 

A distributor with a strong supply chain can benefit your business in multiple ways. First and foremost, they’ve taken the time and effort to cultivate solid relationships with quality growers to secure a constant flow of high-quality produce. Ensuring your stock demand is always met and they are fewer opportunities for supply chain breakdowns. These relationships with growers also guarantee that the supplier has vetted the best location to purchase the most cost-effective fruit and vegetables in bulk quantities. Those savings are then passed on to you, the buyer. 

An effective supplier will also have considerable product knowledge. They’ll be able to easily answer any questions you have in regards to the stock you are purchasing. Their knowledge guarantees a fine-tuned understanding of the different regional growing seasons. This assists your business by ensuring all produce has been shipped to you at the peak of ripeness.

Distribution and Storage Practices

The last matter to take into consideration when choosing a wholesale produce supplier is their distribution and storage practices. A great indication that a supplier is meeting food safety standards is to check if they are GAP Certified

GAP Certification is completed by CanadaGAP. A government-recognized certification program for food safety standards. It is designed to help implement and maintain effective food safety procedures within fresh produce operations. They offer a manual for companies to follow to ensure that they are implementing Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) in their production, packing, and storage operations. It is also designed for fresh produce brokers to apply best practices regarding product traceability and supplier management.

When working with a GAP certified distributor, you can be assured that food safety protocols were followed from farm to business. 

Choosing the right wholesale produce supplier can seem like a daunting task but if you ask the right questions you’ll be sure to find the perfect fit for your company. City Wide Produce has a solid supply chain, a wealth of product knowledge, is GAP Certified, and is ready to help get the freshest & highest quality products delivered straight to your business. Contact them today to get started!

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