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Algorithms and Asparagus: 'Small Farm Fresh' Uses Technology to Boost Local Food


I started Small Farm Fresh because right now, it's harder to buy locally grown produce than it is to buy produce that was grown thousands of miles away. Even if big companies can make the numbers work to sell produce this way, these excessive food miles are bad for the environment, bad for local farmers, and ultimately, bad for consumers. We get anonymous food that isn't as fresh as it could be when amazing produce is grown next door. Small Farm Fresh's mission is to give farmers a robust local market for their products, and give larger-volume buyers a simple, easy-to-use choice for their produce needs.
Small Farm Fresh is a hybrid of tech startup and food company. We bolster local food systems by connecting large-scale buyers such as restaurants, schools, hospitals, and green-grocers with with local, small-scale farms. Unlike traditional purveyors, we don't own warehouses where food sits and loses nutrients, taste, and quality over time. Instead, we source produce directly from farmers on the day of restaurant delivery.
All member farms' inventories are pooled into a single ordering interface used by our customers. Proprietary algorithms distribute orders among the local farms—even using automated text messaging to reach farmers in the field—to ensure order fulfillment by growers who have the product in their real-time crop inventory. We also coordinate the logistics to ensure the produce gets to its local customer bright and early on delivery day.
This post was written by Small Farm Fresh founder Dan Chak. You can read more about Small Farm Fresh here. \n
Image via (cc) flickr user Todd Klassy\n
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