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does food tech hurt small farmers?

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Does Food Tech Help Farmers?,”was the central question of a Civil Eats article from last week. Reporter Dave Holt spoke to several small scale CSA and market farmers about their experience with the recent glut of internet startups– from Farmdingo to Good Eggs– asking mainly if e-commerce was good for business. Some farmers said yes, some said no. Most indicated that regardless of the relative benefits and costs of partnering with online distribution companies, doing so is becoming increasingly necessary. In the words of one farmer interviewed, “If you can’t beat them, join them.”

 

But the farmers say they were disappointed, when, after being Farmigo’s loyal customer for several years, the company (backed by $26 million in funding) “came into the market we’ve developed over the past 25 years and started competing with us.”

We’d love to hear what you think. Let us know in the comments section if you use or have used an e-commerce platform for marketing and how it worked for you!

One thought on “does food tech hurt small farmers?

  1. I’m the farmer that you quoted. We’re not small and we’re not a market farm. We run one of the areas largest CSA programs. Many of my colleagues are struggling this year, 2016. There’s a growing number of medium to large growers that believe CSAs are falling out of favor as customers have greater demands, cook less and have more options. Moreover there are a lot of smaller growers and hobby farmers entering the space. Oftentimes, these growers don’t deliver on promises and it further hurts the model.

    We expect, and are already seeing, consolidation. We’ve seen several farms go out of business this year and we’ve been approached by several to either acquire them or merge with them.

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