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Important notes about Storage

Producers should be aware that storage space usually comes at a premium. Restaurant kitchens are often crowded, and the space in a restaurant’s walk-in cooler may be limited. School kitchens are the same way -- they do not have massive amounts of storage space either. Likewise, grocery and retail stores may only have a specific space or area for your product. However, these realities should not keep a producer from starting the discussion about expanding their offerings to a new or existing restaurant, grocery/retail, or school buyer. Producers with less perishable products may have more flexibility with storage. 

Limited storage space at a restaurant or other buyer's facility can leave the producer looking for a place to store their product. On-farm cold storage or refrigerated storage is often a nice solution to this problem. On-farm cold storage can come with a larger investment price if a storage unit is not already in place, but it serves and benefits as a place the producer can store product in-between deliveries.  

On-farm cold storage also serves as a way to keep your product cold [if it requires it] and keep the value of your product intact. There are several low-cost ways to achieve cold storage. Below are links to articles about low-cost options for cold storage.

Keeping your perishable products in the correct temperatures is also a part of Quality Assurance, and an very important part of keeping your buyer happy. Check out our Quality Assurance page for more information.  

For information related to funding post-harvest storage, check out the website below:

  1. SOAR Farm Loans
  2. KSU Small Scale Farm Grant
  3. Kentucky Ag Development Fund

MarketReady's Best Practices for success

  • Be aware of how much product your buyers can handle. You don't want to overload your buyer's space or capacity. 
  • Be willing to help buyers come up with off site storage, such as space in on-farm cold storage. 
  • If using on-farm storage, be sure to have storage guidelines in place to keep product at its peak level of freshness.