The customers, restaurants, and researchers have spoken, and on the top of everyone’s list is a desire for more locally sourced food. Farmer’s markets are as popular as ever, but for the many who cannot cook more than a pot of pasta or prefer sit down dining experiences, they seek out restaurants and cafes that bring the farm to their table. This is a great piece of news for small-scale farmers and growers.
According to the National Restaurant Association, numbers 1, 3 and 4 on the top trends of 2016 include ‘Locally sourced meats and seafood’, ‘Locally grown produce’, and ‘Hyper-local sourcing’. For owners that specialize in going with the seasons and what is naturally found in the region, knowing that locally grown produce was found to be more of a priority over specialty items (like super-fruits or micro-greens) is a relief.
The Farm-to-Table (also referred to as Farm-to-Fork) trend is beneficial to smaller farms that cannot produce large quantities required to sell in mass markets. It is also beneficial to restaurants and chefs to embrace local products, since the demand for it is higher it will up their customer count and underline that they have fresh food that didn’t travel for days in a box to get there. Third, both sides promote a greener and more environmentally friendly approach to the food industry, limiting gas mileage and often using fewer pesticides too.
Hopefully, this trend will continue to create an increase in sales for local farms. With this rise in demand, what nobody wants is to be bogged down with a similar rise in fuzzy voicemails, vague emails, and cryptic messages from a restaurant or other buyer. Enter BlueCart, an app and program for both parties of these transactions. Once creating an account, a producer can easily see all their incoming requests in one place. Manage orders, alter catalogs, change prices, and track revenue with less stress.
There is variation among what is considered local, hyper-local, and regional products, and whether these are also seasonal or not. Some consider within 50 miles to be local, while others think 150 miles. Either way, the desire for a closer connection to our food sources is continuing to rise.