Farm Fresh Network
Access – Educate – Communicate – Thrive
Building Stronger Communities Through Online Access to Regenerative Food Systems
Regenerative food systems play an important role in a community’s effort to provide fresh nutritious food, as an alternative to commercial supply chains. The gaps in the traditional food system affect more and more people every year. With rising costs and dwindling access, many communities find it increasingly harder to procure healthy, affordable food. As a result, many of these communities turn to alternative food systems to meet their needs.
At Farm Fresh Network, we’re part of the growing shift in the way communities sustainably obtain nutritious local food. Our innovative online platform lets clients build alternative food systems that bridge the food inequity gap through online access to regenerative local food sources. These client-built food systems take the local farmers’ market to the next level through online access to not only the physical market but every facet of their local regenerative food system. That means built-in access to the FFN education platform, community building tools exclusively built for FFN clients, and much more.
When you join Farm Fresh Network, your community can finally benefit from a truly regenerative food system calibrated to their best interests.
The Farm Fresh Network
What is a Food System?
A food system is an integrated network of all the activities taking place between the harvest and the final consumption of food; some argue that the system definition goes further back to how and when the field is prepared for planting, or how and what animals eat before being harvested. Commercially, the definition encompasses all of the above in a long chain of custody leading to the final plating of the product. Today, the commercial food system is an impressive array of networks that crisscross the globe, bringing all manner of foods to almost every corner of the civilized world. At no other point in human history has the world had this level of sophistication toward food procurement.
However, in the long chain that makes up the commercial system, there have been shocks and impacts along the way that degrade product quality, availability, and price. As we have seen in recent months, events outside of the food industry have driven prices higher for less quantity and worsening quality. Over the last five years, shocks have created never-before-seen gaps in the food chain, resulting in a sharp rise in costs and a decrease in availability. What was once undeniably reliable is now unbelievably erratic.
Sustainable, regenerative food systems are short-chain food systems with fewer activities between the harvest and the plating of food products. These food systems are based on local growers and producers, offering a direct connection between farmers and consumers. This shorter supply chain reduces the miles and number of processes that happen before a product reaches the consumer, resulting in fresher, healthier food options reaching a wider local customer base and economic development for communities.
Why Build a Regenerative Food System?
These same alternative food systems create even more impact when they reach places that traditional systems cannot. By establishing networks within their communities, they provide access to nutritious food in marginalized neighborhoods where procurement is increasingly difficult. To combat the encroachment of food deserts, online access ensures market availability for everyone who needs it, diversifying delivery methods with remote pick-up points and local delivery options. When the physical market is the pick-up point, passive sales and foot traffic increase, further validating the vitality of the physical market.
Sustainable, regenerative food systems are more resilient to outside shocks than the commercial system, and are increasingly relied on to fill in the gaps the commercial system is creating. While many see the traditional farmers’ market as a nice alternative to going to the store, the reality is that your community needs more. They need access. They need education opportunities. Most importantly, they need to know that there is a reliable food source in an informed, tightly knit community they can rely on when times get tough. Those who built these systems during the COVID epidemic saw how powerful a well-built alternative food system could be, because it was sustainable and regenerative.
These alternative food systems are not just a solution for times of crisis, however. They are a part of a growing movement for a more equitable and sustainable food system. With the increasing focus on environmental health and food security, regenerative food systems are becoming increasingly important in the small-scale food production and distribution industry. By embracing these systems, communities can take back control of their food sources, and create a more equitable and resilient food system.
Going Beyond the Farmers’ Market.
A far cry from commercially recognized “organic” foods, sustainable procurement drives these food systems to become fiscally, environmentally, and socially responsible. Everything from how the produce is grown, the animals raised, and the methods by which they are brought to market are scrutinized. Buyers can visit their vendors, ask questions, build relationships, and ensure their product has less impact on the environment. Often, buyers can volunteer at a vendor’s farm or ranch to be a part of the process by which their own food is procured.
So, it’s about more than just getting people to the market. It’s about education, community, and pulling together to build a thriving local economy. Toward those ends, alternative markets create online education programs to build awareness, educate vendors on small business principles, and teach future producers sustainable methods for a better crop. Perhaps most importantly, they build community. They have online social spheres that deliver information, inform the public, and bring a sense of belonging to those who participate.
See the Bigger Picture for Your Community
The power of alternative food systems is clear: they provide access to nutritious food in communities that are often overlooked, create economic opportunity for those involved, and provide education for future growers and producers. Most importantly, they create a sustainable, regenerative community that is equitable no matter who they are or where they are located.
At Farm Fresh Network, we understand the power of alternative food systems and the impact they can have on communities. Our platform is designed to help our clients deliver the best foods and opportunities to even the most remote areas. With our platform, your market will be online, you’ll create online education programs, provide delivery options, and be the cornerstone to a thriving local economy. It’s time to make a difference – because your community needs more from your market.