Webinar Recap:  Navigating Distribution, Managing Financial Health, Selling On Amazon, And More Topics 

Arielle Feger
The SFA continues to offer two free webinar series—Ask the Experts: Business Continuity and Risk Mitigation Planning and Working with Buyers: Rise to the COVID-19 Challenge—to help members through this unprecedented time. Webinars are held on Tuesdays and Fridays and recorded versions are available for download in the specialtyfood.com Learning Center.

Here are highlights from some of the latest webinars in the series:

In Selling Good Food Right Now, Ari Weinzweig, co-founding partner of Zingerman’s Community of Businesses, provided perspective on how the pandemic has affected their 13 businesses, the shift in how good food is being sold right now, including wholesale and mail-order, and how the organization is working to move forward with caring and creativity.

COVID-19 is challenging the food industry to re-think how to serve business partners while keeping employees and customers safe. Although traditional food safety practices are still paramount, companies are now faced with non-direct food safety consequences. Paul Medeiros, NSF International, offered guidance on how to Stay Open, Stay Safe: Ensuring Safety in Challenging Times.

In Navigating Distribution in the COVID Environment, John Raiche, UNFI’s executive vice president, supplier services, discussed how makers can work with distributor and retailer partners to forge stronger relationships, ensure ample inventory, and understand category shifts in the current environment.

Greg Wank, leader of Anchin’s Food and Beverage Group, spoke on how to Manage Your Financial Health Through the Crisis, sharing different ways to think about and manage cash flow in these uncertain times, as well as government programs that may be helpful, including emergency financing as well as tax relief.

Amy Bennett, founder and owner of Greene Grape in Brooklyn, New York, provided a first-hand view of the COVID-19 crisis and its impact on food retail. In Change Can Make Us Stronger, she discussed how she’s pivoted to online and delivery, the advantages of running your own systems, and how operations changes have strengthened the business.

In Selling on Amazon in the Time of COVID and Beyond, e-commerce expert Betsy McGinn, founder of McGinn eComm spoke about the current boom in online sales, what she is seeing at Amazon, how brands can succeed now, and how to move forward with an e-commerce strategy.

Woodstock Farmers’ Market’s Patrick Crowl, owner, and Amelia Rappaport, lead buyer, discussed Relationships in Retail and how the retailer is navigating online sales, curbside pickup, and in-store retailing, all while ensuring a safe environment for consumers and employees.

David Donnan of Silver Tip Management spoke with food makers about Business Planning During COVID-19 and their struggles to keep up with demand amidst the pandemic. Panelists included Chitra Agrawal, founder of Brooklyn Delhi; Jess Martin, COO of Farmer’s Fridge; and Dennis Deschaine, founder of specialty pasta maker Al Dente Pasta Co.

New topics are added each week. Visit learning.specialtyfood.com to learn more and to download recorded webinars.

The Ask the Experts: Business Continuity and Risk Mitigation Planning series features speakers on topics including government aid programs, legal matters, finance, insurance, crisis communications, and more. The Working with Buyers: Rise to the COVID-19 Challenge series gives the retailer perspective on current conditions first-hand from buyers as they discuss the challenges in supply chains and stores, with merchandising, in-store activities, employees and more. 
Posted by Arielle Feger on Jun 9, 2020 2:30 PM America/New_York