An online food marketplace that connects people and communities to local farmers to buy fresh produce.
When you buy a dollar’s worth of tomatoes at the supermarket, the farmer who grew them gets only about 20 cents of that, as a rule of thumb. This is pretty much the same with any other type of produce a farmer sells.
If farmers could sell direct to consumers they could flip those proportions on their head, making 80% of the sale value. That would in turn make small-scale farming more sustainable and so support rural communities. The consumer would benefit as well by eating fresher, local and sustainable food.
Farmigo, an online food marketplace that connects people and communities to local farmers to buy fresh produce, is aiming to do this at scale. Each farmer has a dedicated online farmers’ market, and local people and groups including schools and workplaces are connected to their nearest farm. Online they are able to pick and choose preferred items and have their order delivered weekly to a site of their choosing within 48 hours of harvest.
Farmigo is currently operating its online farmers’ market model across California and New York. This is in addition to their existing work with over 300 farms in 25 states across the United States through the Community Supported Agriculture network, where they have developed an online ‘front-end’ where people make orders of food and then pick up at local pick-up points rather than have them delivered to customer locations.
Farmigo has raised over £10 million of funding from venture capitalists and is piloting their new digital farmers’ market platform with Etsy, Kiva and Carrot Creative. Farmigo ultimately hopes to reach 20% of the total population. (The UK and the rest of Europe have their own versions of the same idea: Farm Direct has created a successful small business in north London.)
Market places like Farmigo aim to disrupt the industrial system of food production and distribution, even in its organic form, by taking out the middle men and connecting local farmers direct to consumers. Food is central to most of the big challenges our society faces: tackling climate change will be impossible without new, less energy and water intensive forms of food production; our diet is vital to our living fitter, healthier, longer lives.
Image 'Green, Purple, Yellow and Red Vegetables' courtesy of Canadian Pacific
Last updated: 09th of May, 2014