How Does Produce Distribution Work

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Production distribution is the process of supplying food products to the general population. According to locations, produce distribution methodologies vary. This is a serious societal requirement and is a concern since ancient times.

The process involves carrying produce from the source to the people who need it, keeping it protected from spoilage and careless handling. With today’s increased population, the hardships faced by food distribution has multiplied many times more than what it used to be some 50-100 years ago.

What is produce distribution?

Produce distribution, in general, is the process by which, various organizations and companies collect produce from producers, keep it stored in warehouses, and then distribute to wherever required, like grocery stores, restaurants, cafes, government-aided programmes etc. The process involves various wholesale produce distributing organizations like North Bay Produce Distributors, who supply fresh produce by being a part of the food distribution network.

Produce service distribution is a subset of produce distribution that facilitates the delivery from produces to service operators like chefs, grocery stores, restaurants etc.

Produce distribution involves not only food products but also products that help with its consumption. Napkins, plates, cups and utensils also form an essential part of this chain of distribution.

How does produce distribution work?

Produce distribution involves a chain of suppliers that transport produce from producers to operators. Some distributors specialize in a certain product, while some may work for specific produce manufactures. But mostly they work independently, thus making it easy for manufacturers and suppliers to create a chain by hiring a distributor that caters to their needs.

Types of distributors:

In a produce distribution network, there are various types of distributors:

Broad-line distributors:

As the name suggests, Broad-line distributors carry thousands of different products that a broad range of operators might need. They are large organizations, serving a large market.

Speciality distributors:

These are the distributors who specialize in a specific kind of produce of a smaller category. Speciality distributors have certain produce that you might not find with the broad-line distributors.


They do not sell directly to service operators but buy directly from the manufacturers or producers. Redistributors serve individually owned or smaller service operators who cannot get it from broad-line distributors.

Cash and carry:

They can be considered more of a wholesaler than a distributor since they do not transport the produce to the service operators. The operators visit the cash and carry warehouses and pick their necessities and pay for it then and there.

Distributors only pick up a product if there exists enough demand for it. So, it becomes necessary for many produce service operators to build demand for certain produce in a niche.

Software aiding produce distribution:

Due to the involvement of numerous moving parts and processes, product distribution tends to get complicated. To keep the produce distribution process at ease, the help of certain software is taken.

Food service distribution software:

This kind of software allows the distributors to process, schedule and track orders. Users can manage inventory, process payments, create invoices, and build reports by virtue of this software.

Food traceability software:

This allows the distributors to track origin and ingredients of specific produce—speciality distributors, dealing with food restrictions and greatly helped by this software.

Final Words

With the intervention of the produce distribution system today, the lives of all the population have been benefited. Even in times of social catastrophe, these produce distributors act as saviours of many lives by serving food and related products wherever necessary. Produce distribution is a complicated, logistically focussed industry that has been able to expand more by virtue of technology and has been serving us in a more widespread manner.