Virginia’s Largest Food Co-Op Takes on Broken Food System with Crowdfunding Campaign
The produce on grocery store shelves typically takes a week to get there after it's harvested. By then only 60% of its nutrient value is left. It has also lost much of its flavor. "Our food system is broken," concludes Duane Slyder, founder and managing director of The Farm Table, Virginia's largest food co-op. To help fix it, The Farm Table is launching a crowdfunding campaign to help more families and farmers.
"Our food system is broken," concludes Duane Slyder, founder and managing director of The Farm Table, Virginia's largest food co-op. To help fix it, The Farm Table is launching a crowdfunding campaign to help more families and farmers.
In contrast to grocery stores, The Farm Table gathers its produce from local farmers, then home-delivers to families within 150 miles. The co-op's trademarked motto is also a promise to its members: 48 hours dirt-to-doorstep. In addition to the health benefits, local food providers like The Farm Table also benefit local family farmers, the local economy, and the environment. The Farm Table's growers all practice sustainable farming methods, and because they're close to their customers, transporting their produce results in a smaller carbon footprint. Local produce is also a hedge against the possibility of losing access to food if there's ever a transportation breakdown after a natural disaster or other crisis.
The demand for local food is growing. The number of farmers markets in Virginia has doubled in the past four years. But not everyone can get to a farmers market every week, or afford to shop at specialty grocery stores. So The Farm Table offers a convenient, affordable way to deliver produce directly from the farms to the homes of its members. Selling produce at farmers markets is also time-consuming for small farmers.
"Some of our farmers were spending so much time at the markets that they were farming at night before they started selling to us," says Sam Krivenac, The Farm Table's crop coordinator. "Last year, nine of our farmer partners relied completely on our orders to support their businesses. We want to help more small farmers in the same way, while we help more families eat healthy at the same time."
On June 21st, The Farm Table's crowdfunding campaign launched on Indiegogo.com. The money raised will buy a refrigerated truck and expand operations close to new members in northern Virginia.
“Now we need help from like-minded people who share the passion for supporting sustainability.”
For more about The Farm Table, visit www.TheFarmTable.org and www.facebook.com/TFTRVA.