In the United States, Florida has the highest percentage increase in the number to small farms growing specialty crops. Consumers are constantly demanding locally grown food for various reasons yet the production and distribution are not able to match the demand.
What is Panhandle Fresh Marketing Association (PFMA)?
Panhandle Fresh Marketing Association (PFMA) is a community based food system model supporting the gulf coast region. PFMA began in November 2007 as a 501 C4, not for profit organization and was created for the purpose of assisting small to medium size farmers expand their current markets.
In Northwest Florida and Southern Alabama, speciatly crops have been successfully grown; however, production is seasonal and markets are limited. PFMA was established to expand the markets that farmers can use as well as provide farmers with a distribution system to help increase their sales and revenues.
PFMA was established through an Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) grant with the mission to increase the supply and expand markets to meet consumer demand for locally grown food. The potential impacts of the grant are to:
- Increase the supply of specialty crops
- Increase profitability and sustainability of small farms
- Crease a distribution center to reach all market sectors
- Expand marketing options to meet consumer demand for locally grown produce
- Increase community awareness
What Farmers Should Know
PFMA is a type of co-op for local small growers. This association is open to farms in the gulf-coast region and currenly has 15 farmers located in the Florida counties of Escambia, Santa Rosa, Okaloosa and Walton and Alabama counties of Mobile and Baldwin.
What PFMA provides for Farmers…
PFMA provides several services to farmers including:
- Liability Insurance Policies
- Marketing Materials
- Vendor Identification Numbers
- Distribution Assistance
- Bookkeeping and Accounting Assistance
- Food Safety Training and Certifications
Benefits of PFMA:
- Improving Farmers’ Profits
- Improving Agricultural Sustainability
- Logistical and Infrastructure Support through a Distribution System
Get Involved with PFMA if You Are…
- A Farmer looking to increase your production
- A Retailer looking to support local farmers and buy local produce
- A Consumer looking to purchase local produce to help the local economy