I watched Farmigo CEO, Benzi Ronen, present One Great Idea: Bringing Technology to the Farmers Market, via live stream feed from the GreenBiz Forum 13 in San Francisco. The company name seemed familiar.
Later I checked the website of our Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm Los Osos Valley Organic Farm, and sure enough their subscription website is powered by Farmigo. I visited Farmigo’s website to learn more about their organization.
“Farmigo is dedicated to creating a healthy alternative food system that provides fresh, local, affordable and sustainable food for generations to come.”
Farmigo was founded in August 2009 by Yossi Pik and Benzi Ronen. Its original product was a cloud-based software system to help farmers manage CSA subscriptions. In 2012, Farmigo launched their Local Food Communities program.
Farmigo is a certified B corporation which is a for profit business that has been certified by nonprofit B Lab to meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency.
Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) Software
CSA farms are generally small, family-owned farms that sell their products via farmers markets, co-ops, and CSA membership shares. As one might expect, CSA farmers spend the bulk of their time—farming. Administering a CSA program requires time, organization skills, and everyone’s favorite recordkeeping.
Farmigo’s CSA software system facilitates the sign-up and payment processes, provides farmers with logistics tools and reports, enables members to shop from a web store and manage their account online, and allows farmers to manage their farm account using mobile technology.
As a Los Osos Valley Organic Farm CSA member, I used the Farmigo system to sign up initially and then purchase the next seasonal share.
Local Food Communities Program
The industrial food system has benefited from “economies of scale”. The Internet is now enabling a new kind of scalability—the “Economy of Community”. Using Internet-based technology, small farms in the same geographic area can collaborate to deliver their products directly to customer workplaces and other community locations.
A group of people form a Local Food Community at their workplace, school, or other community location. Members pick and choose items online from one or more farmers including: fruits and vegetables, bread, eggs, grass-fed meat, milk, and other products. The orders are grouped together and delivered to the Local Food Community site on a specific day and time, within 48 hours of harvest.
Seems like a win-win for farmers and the people buying their products.
As of the writing of this post, there were 3,162 Local Food Communities in the Farmigo network.