Growers will open a produce auction in the North Carolina Piedmont region in late June or early July, according to the Extension specialist. The auction will be located in Oxford, N.C.
At an early January meeting, the group decided to proceed, with the growers interested in the auction rather than in forming a growers association, says Carl Cantaluppi, North Carolina State Extension horticulture agent for Granville and Person counties. Growers will make the rules and regulations regarding the auction by consensus.
“The growers will not commit to an opening date until the group decides what the right time should be,” Cantaluppi says.
“One of the most important issues discussed was the need for everyone to contact buyers,” Cantaluppi says. “Growers need to contact buyers and let them know they need to be at the auction to buy. We absolutely need commitments from buyers to make the auction a success. Without buyers, we cannot sell produce at the auction.”
The group will charge growers a 10 percent fee to pay for the auction manager's expenses, which includes the hiring of an auctioneer. Billy Yeargin is the auction manager. Cantaluppi has offered to record the kinds, quantities and prices for produce received and sold at the auction.
At the early January organizational meeting, growers also discussed the bulk purchasing of boxes. Yeargin will be able to store boxes at the Oxford, N.C., site for grower purchase.