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Closing the Farm to Fork Gap, Get to Know Your Processors

Farm to Fork SF

Recent trends show consumers are looking for the health benefits, but also want to know where their crops come from. Now is the time for the sunflower industry to strengthen the farm to fork messaging – and growers play an important role.

In the past, it was more difficult to market new, specialty products in big retail grocery stores. However, today it is easier than ever before to promote and sell specialty products because of two trends: health-conscious consumers who are looking for these specialty products and the rise of digital marketing and e-commerce. If a product can’t be found physically in a grocery store, it can be found online.

According to Mike Kotzbacher, Senior Vice President of Red River Commodities (RRC), all of the company’s products can be found on store shelves. “Our SunButter is widely available across the U.S. on many retail shelves. You can also find our roasted, salted and flavored inshell in many grocery outlets and convenience stores. Our birdseed can be found in Farm and Fleet and grocery stores through the U.S.,” Kotzbacher says.

Going hand in hand with rising demand for healthier products is the trend to be more sustainable, for consumers to know where their food comes from and to buy local. Which is exactly why companies like Smude Sunflower Oil and RRC have created entire brands that promote the farm to fork process. The messaging on RRC’s website has words like “trusted grower” and “sourced directly from growers, so all of our products are the finest, freshest available.”

“Working directly with growers to source the best quality product is a must here at RRC,” says Kotzbacher. “Having control of the supply chain from field to fork is very important to maintain the quality and consistency of what we produce. We have been working direct with growers for almost 50 good agriculture practices (GAPs) to be at the highest level to maintain food quality.”

For example, to make its SunButter product, RRC starts with the highest quality sunflower kernel available. They source it from carefully vetted growers and suppliers that are peanut and tree nut free. By keeping the sunflower kernel away from peanut and tree nut free environments, RRC can mitigate any risk of cross contamination.

Growers play a key role in ensuring they are following the processes to ensure there is no cross contamination and that there is traceability up and down the chain.


Getting to Know Your Sunflower Processors

Growers play an important roll in the farm to fork messaging by choosing the right hybrids for the right markets in their regions.  Getting to know processors in your region can give you added marketing flexibility.

Click here to find sunflower processors in your region.

Click here to find a Nuseed hybrid for every market and every field.