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The Price Point Conundrum - How the Sustainable Farmer Can Afford Her Own Tomato

Red Tomato's business strategy ensures that their supplying producers get a good price, while also keeping the price low enough to consistently attract buyers.


The dream of the food movement is a system where all eaters, wealthy or not, have access to affordable, healthy, sustainable  food, while producers earn a fair price for their product.

Can that dream become reality? A few pennies more to the producer could significantly increase a tomato’s price once it has traveled through the supply chain. Coupled with a host of other price pressures, it might appear that there is no solution outside of government or philanthropic aid.

As you’ll learn in this webinar, this is simply not the case. We present building blocks for real solutions, looking at the constraints in a new and different way. Our webinar presenters represent links in a functioning food value chain that discovered some answers to the price point conundrum.



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Presenter Bios

Barney HodgesBarney Hodges

Owner – Sunrise Orchards, Inc
Owner - Vermont Refrigerated Storage

Raised in the apple business Barney grew up on the farm at Sunrise Orchards, always keenly interested in all parts of the business.  Over the years he has done all the jobs that occur from cutting root suckers and pruning, to picking and packing, to driving the truck, the forklift and the mower.  Barney now mostly spends his time doing the big picture planning, apple sales and development and management of his storage facility in Shoreham, VT.  Barney is convinced that the wholesale model of family farming is challenged, but possible with vertical integration, innovation and a strong entrepreneurial spirit that achieves diversification by capitalizing on a business’s strengths.  At Sunrise Orchards and Vermont Refrigerated Storage those strengths are their investments in infrastructure and their strong commitment to quality and customers.

A graduate of Middlebury College, Barney operates the farm with his wife and business partner Christiana Hodges.  Together they have three kids, Sophie, Sam and Malia and all look forward to a strong future in the produce world.

Michael RozyneMichael Rozyne

Michael Rozyne is founder and managing director of Red Tomato, a not-for-profit marketing organization whose mission is connecting farmers and consumers through marketing, trade, and education. Red Tomato holds a passionate belief that a family-farm, locally-based, ecological, fair trade food system is the way to a better tomato. Red Tomato coordinates distribution of produce from several dozen family farmers to supermarkets in greater metropolitan Boston.

Before Red Tomato, Michael co-founded and served as director of marketing for Equal Exchange, a fair trade food business that trades directly with small farmer coffee-cocoa-tea cooperatives in Latin America, Africa, and Asia. Equal Exchange employs 90 people (more than 60 are owners of the company), has annual revenues of $23 million, and distributes coast to coast through natural food stores, food co-ops, universities, restaurants, and supermarkets nationwide.

Before Equal Exchange, 1981-1985, Rozyne was head buyer and marketing manager for Northeast Cooperatives in Brattleboro, Vermont. Between 1978-1980, he was marketing manager for Estabrook Farm in Yarmouth, Maine, a diversified vegetable and greenhouse operation.

Rozyne lives on a homestead in Middleborough, Mass. with his wife and two daughters.

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