Billing itself as “Yelp for the sustainable foods community,”
Using the Internet as a powerful tool to connect consumers with businesses that use local ingredients and–maybe more importantly–showing businesses the best places to source those local ingredients.
The sustainable and local food movements have no shortage of devotees. But awareness doesn’t always lead to action. And despite the growth of these movements, it should come as little surprise that fast food companies like McDonald’s continued to post record sales in 2011.
That’s where FarmPlate comes in. Billing itself as “Yelp for the sustainable foods community,” FarmPlate wants to make it easier for Americans to live the locavore life. On the consumer-side, the Yelp comparison is fairly spot-on: users can search for food, suggest listings, and leave reviews.
But in addition to serving consumers looking for food sources off the beaten path, FarmPlate also offers specialized accounts to farmers, food artisans, and restaurant owners. For $195 a year, clients receive detailed, customizable profile pages that can be linked to their local suppliers. For example, a deli owner in New York City can link to the dairy farm upstate where her Swiss cheese is made, along with the cattle rancher in New Jersey who supplies her corned beef. This innovative idea is what CEO Kim Werner calls the “Food Web.” “It’s been a powerful tool for businesses to show transparency about who they source from,” she says. “As well as their commitment to the sustainable food base.”
Transparency is a key part of FarmPlate’s vision for a locavore nation. Faced with a barrage of “organic” and “natural” labels on supermarket shelves, it can be difficult for consumers to know which products are healthier or better for the environment than others. The Food Web, along with the site’s user community, should–in theory–weed out the pretenders. That said, Werner says her staff has erred on the inclusive side when approving submissions.
“The idea is if the business is showing some inclination or commitment to the space, then we’re hoping FarmPlate will actually be a valuable sourcing tool for them and encourage them to source more products locally.” Along with facilitating transparency, the personalized pages can be used to put a human face on local and sustainable food producers.
Read more . . .
Bookmark this page for “local food farmers” and check back regularly as these articles update on a very frequent basis. The view is set to “news”. Try clicking on “video” and “2” for more articles.