Stemilt Growers Launches Online Courseware Series
WENATCHEE, WA - When we think of farm to fork, we often conjure an image of fruits being plucked from the tree and plopped onto our plate. This is a lofty ideation of what farm to fork means, as said fruit must be passed between many hands before arriving at the table. That being said, it’s integral that team members throughout the supply chain receive the same training as farmers in the field. To encourage this, Stemilt Growers recently launched an online courseware series to help retailers train their produce teams on the farm-to-fork process. Dubbed Stemilt University: Online, the program is a continuation of a long-time, in-person program at Stemilt, and will help participating retailers expand the number of team members that receive training on key produce categories.
“Stemilt University: Online is an easy-to-use digital experience that makes learning quick and interesting,” stated Senior Marketing Manager, Brianna Shales. “Our marketing team has put in a lot of time and effort to create a tool that is user-friendly so all different types of learners can get something from our classes.”
While Stemilt University originally started with visits out to the field and classroom sessions held at Stemilt headquarters, the company found it could easily digitize this experience so more people could have the opportunity to learn in the comfort of their own workplaces. Today, Stemilt offers online classes focused on apples and cherries, with other fruits coming in the future. Each class is a digital experience where students can learn what it takes to produce World Famous Fruit through an online platform. It works on computers, tablets, or mobile devices, which gives students the option to learn anytime and even on-the-go.
“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.”
The online training is modeled after the farm to fork process and covers the same major lessons that are covered in the field. During the six-part video series, Stemilt goes in-depth to cover FAQs that consumers have about fresh produce, giving those who work in the department a better, broader understanding of where fruits like apples are grown and how they are farmed, harvested, and packed.
“When we designed this courseware, we mapped it out just like we do when a partner comes out to visit,” said Shales. “We encompass every element that is involved in the process and we have organized that information into six videos that are all under four minutes or less. It’s really just that easy.”
According to a press release, each video covers a different topic: how fruit is grown; where it is grown; the volume of fruit grown; different varieties; packing and shipping; nutrition; and FAQs. After students have completed the videos, they will be prompted to take a 15-question quiz on the materials they learned. If students pass with a 70 percent or better, they will be awarded a Stemilt University: Online courseware certificate that they can print out or share on their LinkedIn profiles. If students do not pass on the first try, they can study and take the quiz again 14 days later.
“The whole purpose of this online education course is to ensure that 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.”
The original Stemilt University courseware material used to be captured in a very detailed textbook that would be sent home with retail partners after their trips out west. However, as the world evolved digitally, the company needed to accommodate those needs, which resulted in a video-based classroom.
“Video is the way that everyone is getting their information in today’s world,” explained Shales. “Stemilt University: Online makes continuing education easy with short, easy-to-digest videos. After watching these videos, students will feel like they are part of the Stemilt family and can represent our brands with their best foot forward.”
To check out Stemilt University: Online for yourself, click here. For all the latest news in produce, stick with us at AndNowUKnow.