What is the U.P. Food Exchange?
The U.P. Food Exchange (UPFE) is a Food Hub being led by the Marquette Food Co-op and MSU Extension in conjunction with the Western UP Health Department that coordinates and supports local food activities in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula (U.P.). UPFE serves as a resource portal for farmers, businesses, and institutions looking to connect with and actively participate in their local food system.
What is the Online Marketplace?
We simplify the sourcing of high-quality, local food products by offering product aggregation, delivery, payment processing, and marketing support. We partner with local distributors for delivery, and the farmers we partner with stress environmental stewardship in their practices. Purchasing products through the UP Food Exchange supports local farmers and invests in the regional economy. Supporting local food helps build a regional “foodshed”, where we have the opportunity to directly support our neighbors and influence the conversation about what kind of food we want.
Benefits for Farmers
Farmers are able to market their products to multiple customers through a single online platform which maintains a live inventory at all times. Products are aggregated for pick up and/or delivery so farmers can deliver orders from multiple buyers to one location, with a single invoice.
Benefits for Buyers
Restaurants, hospitals, schools, and other institutions are welcome to use the UPFE Online Marketplace. Buyers can purchase products from multiple farms in a single order, pay for them with a single payment, and receive all the products at once as a single order. UPFE streamlines the many processes involved in purchasing local food while maintaining a strong connection to local farmers. UPFE offers marketing support, product updates, and help navigating challenges to getting local food into your business.
Contact Alex Palzewicz at firstname.lastname@example.org or 906 225 0671 x 726 for further details about how you can start ordering local food through UPFE’s Online Marketplace.
Interested in Becoming a Seller?
Why Should You Join UPFE’s Online Marketplace?
- Expand your market reach
- Share your story and photos
- Access your sales and financial reports
- Stay organized with email reminders, pick lists, and packing slips
- Manage inventory, marketing, and sales in one place
If you are ready grow your farm to help meet the demand for local food, please read the information contained in the links below to gauge whether or not you meet the eligibility requirements and are ready to sell to the wholesale market.
Are You Ready?
Things You Need to Know…
- An account on the Marketplace is free of charge to you as a farmer
- You will be responsible for making pick-up/delivery, invoicing and payment arrangements with all buyers making purchases from you
- The marketplace provides you with pick slips and invoices
- This is a wholesale market only and is not to be used for sales to households
- You can set different prices for different buyers without them having access to each other’s pricing
- You can determine which buyers have access to which products
- You will need to use predictive inventory, which is making your best guess of what you will have available that week in order to make sure that you have product listed for buyers to see
- You will be asked to provide candid feedback on your experience as a seller in order to help The Exchange
- Things may change as UPFE makes ongoing improvements to the system
Are You Eligible?
- Eligible Products: fruits, vegetables, meat, poultry, dairy, eggs, plant starts, raw fiber, hay, Christmas trees, fish, maple syrup, herbs, honey. (Alcohol is not currently included in the marketplace.)
- Farmers must disclose their growing practices
- All growing practices are acceptable, certifications can also be listed
- USDA Certified Organic, Certified Naturally Grown, Grass Fed, Hormone-Free, Raised Without Antibiotics, or MAEAP, etc.
- Operations are considered conventional if they use any synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, insecticides, hormones, antibiotics, or common enhancers like Miracle Grow, on any crop or animal at any time
- Operations are considered authentic if they do not use any of the above. The only exception would be in the case of antibiotics administered to a sick animal that is quarantined away from the herd or flock for the duration of its illness and then reintroduced to the group
- Producers must grow, gather, or raise what they sell. Resellers are not allowed
- The physical operation of the farm – its production area and business offices – must be located in the UP
- For those selling value added products, please contact email@example.com to discuss your product
Please keep the following in mind:
- 75% of ingredients (by volume) must be grown, raised, or gathered in the UP
- The manufacturing facility must be located in the UP
- Non-food items like soap, socks, or mittens are not permitted
- Sellers are responsible for any licensing, permitting, certifications, and insurance required to sell their products and must provide proof of specific licensing to the UPFE office
- Sellers are able to sell through the Marketplace and are responsible for arranging transportation of their product(s) to the appropriate destination
Click on the link below to request an account:
Interested in Becoming a Buyer?
The U.P Food Exchange invites you to use the Online Marketplace, a website where institutional food purchasers can buy local food directly from farmers on the internet. This website is free, easy to use, and includes a broad range of functions that allow you to spend less time dealing with paperwork and more time working with good food.
Why Should You Join UPFE’s Online Marketplace?
- Stand out!
- Give your food a story
- Capitalize on the demand for local food
- Streamline your local food ordering
Thank you for your interest in selling or serving locally grown U.P. food in your business or institution. Institutional demand for certain local foods currently outpaces supply. This means that there is much room for growth in the U.P.’s food economy. This also means that as a purchaser of local food, you may not be able to find everything you are looking for at this time. We ask for your patience and continued support as we work diligently with U.P. farmers who are actively developing the wholesale components of their businesses.
Please contact us to discuss what products you are interested in sourcing locally and to request an account. What you are looking for may be available now, so get in touch soon. We want your Marketplace experience to be a good one. The better we understand your needs, the better we are able to help you meet them. We look forward to hearing from you.
906-225-0671 ext. 726 or firstname.lastname@example.org
The U.P. Food Exchange is not responsible for product quality and or service provided by an individual farm and cannot guarantee the claims that farms make about their products. Additionally, the U.P. Food Exchange has not verified the ability of buyers to pay for their purchases.