CO-Horts

CO-Horts

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Fresh Food--Keeping it Local

Posted by: Linda Langelo, Golden Plains Area Horticulture Program Associate
Photo Credit: Divinehealthandwellness.wordpress.com 
Would you have imagined 40 years ago, we would be able to purchase just about anything online?  When I was a kid, I imagined being able to order anything online and having it delivered to our homes.  That was in the days of dial-up modems.  Well, reality has caught up to my imagination...which my parents thought was overactive.

Recently, I read a blog from Smithsonian.com about a new online farmers’ market called Farmigo.  The founder, Benzi Ronen is a technology wiz who has spent 20 years in the field of technology.  Now he is taking an interest in how fresh food is distributed and increasing the selection of fresh food with every weekly box of locally grown produce. 

Farmigo is not a food co-op a collectively owned grocery store.  With an open food co-op, only members can get discounted prices while anyone can shop at the store.  A private co-op requires membership and only members can shop at the store.  Co-ops can carry locally grown quality fresh food and/or top quality grocery items.  Farmigo goes beyond co-ops and food clubs.
 
Until Farmigo was started, distributors and retailers gave the farmer 20 to 30 percent of what the consumers spend.  Farmigo allows the farmer to obtain 60 percent of what the consumers spend. How?

Consumers get directly connected to the farmers.  Farmigo has a database of 400 farms using their software.  Consumers get choose each week from a number of different items in the online market.  They know the origin of each item.  This also gives them information on the farm and a listing of other items from that farm.  When they place their order, it goes directly to the farmer.   The consumer decides on a pickup location in their neighborhood.  The pickup location relies on neighborhood volunteers.  These volunteers are keeping a savings along to the consumer.  The consumers receive about 10 percent savings through this type of distribution system. 

Farmigo has school sites for pickup locations.  In fact, Farmigo gives the schools a 10 percent share of the sales as a fundraiser for the school towards their nutrition program or their school garden.  What great ingenuity of using technology in a positive way and connecting people to work together for the betterment of their lives.  Without your health, living becomes a challenge.  After all, isn’t food life’s real medicine? 

Where did Ronen get this type of food system model?  Believe it or not, political organizations get to volunteers at the local level by choosing volunteers who know their neighborhood well.  Then it starts with real person-to-person connections.  People are getting to know their neighbors where they previously did not. 


Where will my imagination take me to next?  Better yet, how will your imagination lead us into the future?  I am challenging anyone working in the green industry, home horticulture and/or consumers to share what you envision for the future of horticulture or some specific area of horticulture such as raising fresh food.  Since there is no deadline on sharing your vision, we welcome your comments anytime.   At some point in the future, I can follow through with another blog on your visions.  We look forward to reading your comments.

3 comments:

  1. Cool concept -- no sites as yet for Colorado!

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