Building local and regional food systems – Part Two
This is Tim Hammerich from the Ag Information Network with your Farm of the Future report.
Many consumers like the idea of buying local food, but the infrastructure to develop local food systems is lacking. Walden Local Meat has built this infrastructure in the Northeast by partnering with producers and offering last mile delivery to consumers. CEO Philip Giampietro said partnering with processors was key.
Giampietro… “What you usually see is that everyone wants to deal in the fall. So end of October, definitely September and beginning of November, no one can get slots, CPUs are full, then you get to February and it’s totally dead. And it’s really difficult. It’s difficult from a work perspective. It’s difficult from an asset perspective. It is difficult from a planning point of view (perspective). And so there just isn’t a good match between what an individual farmer can do and what a processing plant can do. So we’re working with our agricultural partners to help them work with each other: who has the best access to incoming facilities, who can, how do we schedule them, how do we work with other partners who don’t not. And a schedule between those farmers to balance how those animals move from the farmer to the processor and then eventually to our member families so that the system is really well balanced. And that balance is really so critical.
Walden Local Meat helps create and maintain this balance for building local food systems.