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Substantial progress was made to establish a market for organic and non-certified organic produce in the Fargo, ND and Moorhead, MN area. Partnerships were established early-on with two local grocery store chains, in part, due to professionally produced sales material from an already established organic marketing group. Local farmers improved sales through direct methods -- a farmers market and farm stands -- as well as through retailers - two local grocery store chains. Initial retail sales of certified organic products at grocery stores was promising, and served to demonstrate to produce managers that demands for organics does exist in Fargo-Moorhead. Labeling and packaging local organic products proved difficult because only bulk quantities of bar codes are available. Three to four grocery stores are now carrying organic produce on a regular basis, consequently, the project leader believes he accomplished the group's goal to develop a mainstream market for organic produce. Producers learned many new skills through this project. They attended conferences and farm tours that gave them the knowledge to solve problems in their own operations, as well as share skills and information they discovered. Market power through joint sales proved significant, but the failure to sustain that alliance is a disappointment. The grocers and the public appreciated the organic product, but ironically, the producer-supplier proved to be the main factor that was unsustainable.


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