Stemilt Growers of Wenatchee, Wash., has launched an online program to help grocers train their produce teams on the farm-to-fork process for popular fruits such as apples and cherries.
Designed to help participating retailers expand the number of team members that receive training on key produce categories, Stemilt University: Online is a continuation of the shipper-grower's longtime in-person program.
“Stemilt University: Online is an easy-to-use digital experience that makes learning quick and interesting,” said Brianna Shales, senior marketing manager for Stemilt. The user-friendly tool is geared to different types of learners so everyone can gain something from the experience.
While the University originally started with field visits and classroom sessions held at Stemilt's headquarters, digitizing the experience allows more people to have the opportunity to learn in the comfort of their own workplaces.
“In a perfect world, we would love to have every produce manager, buyer and category manager out to our farms to experience everything first-hand,” said Shales. “But since that is not a realistic expectation, yet we have so much good content to share, we felt this was the next best thing.”
Stemilt University: Online offers classes in apples and cherries, with other fruits and topics planned for the future. Each brief video in the six-part series explores a different topic, including consumers’ most frequently asked questions, where fruits such as apples are grown, and how they are farmed, harvested and packed today. The program is accessible through computers, tablets and mobile devices, giving students the option to learn anytime and even on the go.
After the students have completed the videos, they will be prompted to take a 15-question quiz on the materials they just learned. If students pass with a 70% or better, they are awarded a Stemilt University: Online courseware certificate that they can either print out or add to their LinkedIn profile. If students do not pass on the first try, they can retake the quiz 14 days later.
“The whole purpose of this online education course is to ensure our retailers have the tools they need to be successful on the floor,” said Shales. “Anyone who is working with our product and the consumer becomes an instant brand ambassador, and we want them to feel confident in what they’re selling. We hope that all students who enroll leave feeling like they’ve accomplished something and are inspired to use it.”