Read all our procedures and make sure you understand the process before you submit your application(s) to become an authorized producer of the Oklahoma Food Cooperative. If there is anything below that you do not understand, please call Bob Waldrop, president of the Oklahoma Food Cooperative (405-200-8155), and speak with him.
1. If you are not a member of the Cooperative, the first step is to join the Cooperative. The cost of a membership share is $50, plus a processing fee of $1.75. This buys you one share in our Cooperative. If you decide this isn't for you, you can resign from the Coop and request that we buy your membership back from you. Go to Account Registration to start the process if you haven't already joined or registered an account for access.
2. There are separate procedures and application forms depending on whether you intend to sell FOOD, NON-FOOD, PREPARED FOOD or PROCESSED FOOD items. If you intend to sell multiple types of food items, you must complete an application for each type. (Note: These application forms are not compatible with Google Chrome.)
3. You must use the same address on your producer application that you used on your original membership application. You cannot submit the producer applications without your membership number.
4. Fill out this online application to sell food through the Coop. This application is for producers who grow food (vegetables, grain, beans, fruit, etc.) or raise livestock or poultry for meat, dairy, or eggs who intend to sell frozen meats, fresh vegetables, unprocessed grain, fresh fruit,, eggs, etc. Apply to become a Food Producer of the Oklahoma Food Coop.
5. Fill out this online application to sell non-food items through the coop. This application is for all non-food producers, including crafts, art, clothing, books, music, jewelry, soap, body care products, etc. Apply to become a Non-Food Producer of the Oklahoma Food Coop.
6. Fill out this online application to sell prepared food through the Coop. We define "prepared food" as a food made of ingredients that is prepared by the producer, such as a casserole, cake, pie, candy, high acid bottled goods like jams, jellies, pickles, or other food product that does not require a Processing Authority Letter. Apply to become a Prepared Food Producer of the Oklahoma Food Coop.
7. Fill out this online application to sell processed food through the Coop. This application is to sell any food product that requires a Processing Authority Letter, which is primarily any low-acid canned or bottled food, and includes any non-pickled foods that contain meat and/or vegetables. Apply to become a Processed Food Producer of the Oklahoma Food Coop.
8. If you plan to sell a co-packed product (which means that someone else besides you or your employees or partners will do the preparation), email email@example.com to receive that application.
If you have any questions about these applications, or problems with completing them, or if there is something you do not understand about them, please email Dev Vallencourt, chairman of the Standards Committee, at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also call Bob Waldrop at 405-200-8155, who is the president of the Cooperative.
8. Your application automatically goes to the Coop's Standards and Producer Care committees, which will review your application and contact you if they have questions. The Standards and Producer Care Committees may ask for more information. A representative of the Coop will visit your farm or business before we approve your application. You must attend a new producer orientation, given at each of our monthly delivery days, always on the third Thursday of the month. At orientation you will spend some time working with our delivery system so you get a feel for how it goes. Plan about 4 hours for the orientation and work experience.
9. If the Standards and Producer Care Committees agree to approve your application, you will be authorized as a producer of the Oklahoma Food Cooperative and may list your products at our website. If Standards and Produce Care do not agree about your application, it will be presented to the Board and the Board will decide. If Standards and Producer Care both agree to reject your application, you may appeal that decision to the Board of Directors.
10. Producer members of the cooperative are required to follow all of our cooperative procedures, and must have a working email address. They must check that email address with some regularity and respond promptly to any emails or phone calls from members.
11. If any licenses or certificates are required for your product (e.g. small producer license for eggs, health department inspection certificate for a kitchen, etc.) we must receive a copy of those documents before approving your application. Bring paper copies that you can leave with us to the new producer orientation.
12. The approval process takes between 1-3 months to complete, so don't wait until the last minute before your harvest to apply. However, don't apply if you will not have something to sell for six months, because a new producer who does not offer any products for sale for six months must go through the approval process again. The processing time required is mostly a matter of where your operation is and where our coop members are who do the inspections. Also, we don't schedule a visit until you have actually come to delivery day..
How completely you fill out the application affects the processing time. We do not value short, pithy answers to our application questions. We want details, so when in doubt -- say more, don't say less.
13. The visit by a producer representative is meant to be a friendly experience where you can ask questions about how we do things. It also offers the Coop the opportunity to verify your production claims. If you are going to sell beef, we will want to see cattle. If you plan to sell tomatoes, we need to see tomato plants. If you want to sell eggs, we have to see chickens. If you make soap, we want to see soap making equipment, supplies, and some finished products. If you can't do this for your product, you should delay your application until you can. in other words, don't apply to sell fruit if you planted the trees last week. But if this is the year where your orchard produces fruit, now is the time to apply to become a food producer in the Cooperative.
14. It is your responsibility to know the regulations that govern your farm business. We are not lawyers nor experts in the regulatory process and while we are happy to share our experiences, it is up to you to understand and comply with the law. If you plan to sell any kind of food that involves any kind of modification to the food, you must talk with your local health department before you start your application process with us. If you have berries and plan to sell them frozen, talk to your health dept. If you have pecans, and want to sell them cracked or shelled, talk with your health department. If you want to sell pecans in the shell, uncracked, you don't need to talk to the health department. If you plan to sell berries, fresh, that requires no health department. The same is true for selling any vegetables, unless you are chopping them, shredding them or processing them in any way. Any modification to food is going to require some regulatory compliance. We did not create the present regulatory system, but we must do business within it. We do not cut corners on compliance with the food regulation system.
If you are not accepted as a producer, at your request we will cancel your membership and refund your membership payment.
15. By submitting an application to become a producer, you agree to our Terms of Service and our Producer Procedures .
16. There is a $100 application fee to become an approved producer member of the Oklahoma Food Coop. You may submit more than one application, at the same time, for the one fee of $100. So if a producer applies to be a food, non-food, and prepared food producer, the application fee for all three is $100. If a producer applies for only one category, the fee is still $100.
17. We charge an inspection mileage fee at the standard IRS rate for round trip mileage from the producer visitor's origination point to your place of inspection. We will make every effort to find a producer visitor who lives close to you. Before we schedule your inspection, we will inform you of the cost of the inspection. You may decide at that point to end your application process, if so, we will refund all of the application fee.
18. If you are approved as a producer, the Coop will refund half of the application fee as Coop credit ($50), which may be spent for anything sold by the Coop. This is not refundable as cash or check.
19. If you are not approved as a producer, after going through the inspection, the application fee is not refundable, but your membership share payment of $50 may be refunded upon your request. This refund will cancel your membership in the Cooperative.
Send us email about becoming a producer.