Fresh produce is a big marketing draw for many food co-ops, yet there is a dearth of established training programs for improving performance. The Central Corridor recognized the need to better support produce department management and has engaged CDS to work with produce managers to focus on closing the margin gap for these departments. A gap assessment for all departments of Central Corridor co-ops highlighted a few areas with significant performance gaps. They decided that 2006 would include a focus on closing the produce margin gap (approximately $500,000).
CDS lead consultant Mel Braverman and associate Loretta Wilson (previously the produce manager at Willy Street Co-op for 15 years) will be working with the corridor produce managers. This program will include 3 two-day workshops where produce managers will work together to improve their department’s realized margin.
In addition to the workshops there will be bi-weekly reporting and monthly phone calls to support these managers as they initiate their tactics for improvement.
CDS will produce regular reports to the general manager and NCGA’s development director as well as using the Gap to track performance improvement. This project is scheduled to go on throughout 2006 with a review in October to assess progress.