Signs You Have a Bad Produce Supplier

Signs You Have a Bad Produce Supplier

Watch for these signs that it might be time to reassess your produce supplier.

Finding high-quality produce isn’t always easy. Quality can depend between farms, and suppliers can vary in their quality and service. There may be some complications that can end up causing delays or poor product quality, something we’d all like to avoid. How do you find a good, reliable produce supplier? While no supplier dynamic is perfect and there are bound to be a few issues at some point, enough problems should make you pause and reconsider your professional relationship with them. Watch for these signs that it might be time to reassess your produce supplier.

Changing Stories

If you’re expecting a produce shipment one day, then it doesn’t come, and you’re told of delays due to supply chain issues, then there’s another delay because of weather conditions, then a third delay because a worker injured himself, this might be a sign your produce supplier isn’t right for you. All those different story changes add up to a very inconsistent experience for you and your needs. The fact is, some of these may end up being very real issues—but if they continue to happen and steps aren’t being made to address or remediate the issues, it could be time to start thinking skeptically about whether or not they can follow through on their promises. 

Lack of Accountability

Are you getting produce that’s not of the quality you’re expecting? Having to throw out large parts of shipments over and over and are starting to wonder if it’s your quality inspectors or your supplier? Don’t ignore your instincts. Document your processes and look into it because there is a chance that your supplier is at fault and isn’t willing to take accountability. If quality is fading and orders are becoming inconsistent, start with your supplier and ensure that there aren’t any problems there before you look internally.

Poor Communication

If you feel as though every conversation you have with your produce supplier is the same, that could be a bad sign. Sometimes in business-to-business interactions, you end up treading the same ground over and over. Be transparent and open about your requirements. Take notes when you speak and make sure progress is actually being made. Talking and communicating aren’t always the same thing, so be certain that you’re communicating when dealing with your produce supplier.

Performance Metrics

You should have some system in place to review your produce supplier’s performance metrics. You want to know how their service record is going and if their performance has suffered during the duration of you two working together. 


Baywater Farms is a family-owned and operated farm servicing Baltimore, Washington D.C., Maryland, Delaware beaches, and the Eastern Shore. We are capable of meeting the demands of your produce distributor, restaurant produce supplier, CSA produce supplier, or wholesale produce supplier while maintaining the integrity and character of a small farm. When you work with Baywater Farms, you work with an experienced, ethical, and local farm dedicated to providing the highest-quality heirloom produce.

This entry was posted on Friday, February 25th, 2022 at . Both comments and pings are currently closed.