Similar to challenges around processing, the challenges with distribution mainly revolve around a lack of opportunity. As you might expect, a well-tuned food system has a distinct need for spaces and businesses oriented around aggregating products, storing them as needed in facilities with appropriate temperatures, and then distributing those products throughout the region.
Currently, Western Montana is served by three food aggregator / distributors. Quality Foods distributing, based out of Bozeman, distributes natural, organic, and local products around the Northern Rockies. Charlie’s Produce is based in Spokane and distributes fresh products throughout the Pacific Northwest and Alaska. Finally, the Western Montana Growers Cooperative provides aggregation, distribution, and marketing services for small and mid-size farmers in Western Montana, and distributes across Montana.
While these three businesses are doing a good job of working with our current supply, growing supply and demand are demonstrating a need for more services in this sector.
How Can We Help?
Ask for Local when you’re at your local grocery store, restaurant, school, hospital, or anywhere else where you eat food! One of the biggest steps to getting those larger farms back is creating big-scale demand – the kind of demand that only institutions and businesses can really create. So Ask for Local!