For many busy working people juggling careers and family life, the possibility of getting to a farmers market for produce shopping is slim to none. And while you may want to shop locally and eat healthy, fresh food, it often just seems easier to pop into the corner market on your way home from work.
Farmigo hopes to offer an alternative. Their aim? To become the largest online farmers market in the country.
Last year we covered how farmer Tim Huth and his LotFotL Community Farm CSA members benefited from the use of Farmigo in our post How CSAs Help Farmers in Times of Drought
If you belong to a CSA (community supported agriculture), it’s likely that you’ve already used Farmigo. They currently offer a platform that helps farms across the country manage their CSA subscriptions.
But CSA’s still only serve less than 1% of the population. Farmigo believes one reason for the low enrollment is the unpredictable nature of a CSA box, you have no say over what you get each week.
Their new online market platform works like this:
A group of people (might be a company, a neighborhood or a group of friends) creates what Farmigo calls a “food community”.
This food community then sets up their own virtual farmers market, choosing producers of food from their region that are listed on the Farmigo site. Typically a market will have about five vendors offering everything from eggs to produce to meat and fish.
Each week, the individual members of a community place their unique orders for the week. All the orders are delivered on one specified day (similar to a CSA), to the workplace or other designated delivery spot.
One of Farmigo’s founders, Benzi Ronen, says that its a great deal for farmers who get paid 80 cents on the dollar for every purchase compared to just 20 cents on the dollar for wholesale sales. They also get paid within 24 hours after the delivery.
As Ronen told Co.Exist, “On the farm side, it’s becoming a great channel for them. People order 48 hours before delivering, and the farm is only harvesting what’s pre-ordered, unlike at the farmer’s market.”
To date, they have over 3,000 food communities and growing. Founders Ronen and Yossi Pik believe that with Farmigo, they are harnessing the power of the internet to change the way that Americans think about producing and consuming food. It’s a huge boon for locavores, and Farmigo is supporting thousands of small farmers along the way.
One of our goals at Sustainable America to increase food production in America and decrease the amount of fuel used in transportation of our food. Supporting local farmers through innovative businesses like Farmigo helps to grow local food systems and diversify our food production while increasing the availability of healthy fresh foods in every community.