Navigating the supply chain to get produce to market is challenging for all suppliers amidst COVID19 transport shortages, but small growers are especially marginalized as they compete against large farms that can fill a refrigerated truck in one stop.

Terra Fresh Symposium: Connecting Small Growers to Fresh Produce Markets,” hosted by Arizona State University’s International Logistics and Productivity Improvement Lab on Jan. 14, is designed to help small farmers collaborate using new processes to get their fresh produce to market in timely, efficient ways that will be valuable beyond the pandemic. The event is being offered both in person at ASU’s SkySong Center in Scottsdale, Ariz., and online via Zoom.

The project is coordinated through Terra-Fresh, an integrated planning and coordination project that uses new technologies, particularly for small growers, for early identification of profitable market opportunities to move produce quickly into the supply chain, increase availability of affordable, nutritious food to consumers and reduce food waste. Terra-Fresh is funded by a grant from the Foundation for Food and Agriculture (FFAR).

The symposium will provide information about:

  • Data mining and artificial intelligence tools to identify market opportunities for small growers;
  • Planning tools for buyers to procure standard, local and organic products to meet expected consumer demands for fresh produce;
  • Efficient logistics for small harvests of fresh, seasonal products,
  • Marketing tools for current and future sales negotiation and
  • Stackable, insulated, refrigerated mini-containers measuring four square feet, called “FreshKubes,” that will allow small growers to pack independently and ship collaboratively. These Lego-like, smart devices developed at Arizona State University, can be interconnected to reach the volume necessary for a full freight load.

For more information and to register, visit the FFAR event page, the Terra-Fresh event page or the ASU Zoom registration page.

In addition to the ILPIL, the event is co-sponsored by the Department of Agricultural Economics and Agricultural Business at New Mexico State University and FFAR.

ASU cultivates new market opportunities for small growers  in ASU News can provide more information about the ongoing project to help bring small growers to market. 

Symposium in-person location:

  • SkySong 1, Room 201 Global
  • 1475 N. Scottsdale Road
  • Scottsdale, AZ. 85257

Media Contact:

To schedule an interview with Assoc. Professor Rene Villalobos about the symposium,  ILPIL or Terra-Fresh, contact:

  • Theresa Grant
  • Sr. Media Relations Officer
  • Arizona State University, Engineering
  • [email protected]