How Good Eggs Raised $8.5M To Grow Its Online Local Grocery Marketplace
Distribution logistics is one of the most challenging areas to tackle when it comes to local food. Unlike books or other durable goods, food is perishable and it’s difficult to source from small producers. Traditionally, companies have addressed this by building out huge fulfillment centers where they warehouse goods and use hardware technology to automate the distribution process. Good Eggs is taking a different approach by pre-selling all goods before they arrive at its warehouse and launching multiple smaller hubs in a given region, which reduces the inventory it manages. All of this is made possible through the software solutions it’s developing, which, Spiro says, is what makes the company’s model scaleable. Food+Tech Connect post.
Light shines on our produce
The Shoalhaven is set to become the heart of Australia’s Oyster Coast under a new branding being planned. Stretching from the Shoalhaven to the Victorian border, Australia’s Oyster Coast is about to gain prominence in branding and product labelling, along with a new oyster trail being developed for lovers of the seafood, Ulladulla Oyster Bar owner Ewan McAsh told Friday night’s locavore dinner. He said the branding and trails were deigned to show how, “We have the best oysters and an amazing destination.” The locavore dinner proved to be a real education in fine food, wine and even beer as several local producers spoke about the things they made, and demonstrated the passion that drove them. Milton Ulladula Times story.
ISU researchers track local food sales in Iowa
Sales of locally grown food accounted for at least $9 million in economic activity in Iowa last year according to a new report. Researchers at the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture at Iowa State University tracked “institutional purchases” of locally grown food by grocery stores, restaurants, hospitals, nursing homes and schools. The researchers say this is the first attempt to try to measure the economic impact of regional food systems in Iowa. Their work went beyond the traditional concept of a grower selling to a consumer at a farmers’ market to track sales between growers and businesses. Radio Iowa story.
Sustainable Buzz Surrounds Tampa Bay’s Locavore Movement
With flavors like pumpkin-spice beckoning from nearly every coffee and pastry shop in Tampa Bay and Thanksgiving close enough to taste, the autumnal season makes it virtually impossible not to think about food. But when was the last time you actually considered where your food comes from, and more importantly, what its journey from a farm to your table really means? The Sustany Foundation aims to bring answers to those questions as well as a cornucopia of the best locally grown cuisine to the table at its sixth annual Sustainable Buzz Festival on November 7 at the Straz Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Tampa. 83 Degrees story.
At These Public Schools, Cafeteria Food Is Healthy, Tasty—and Locavore
School cafeteria food gets a bad rap. But the truth is, as the national farm to school movement has taken off over the past few years, schools have begun sourcing the sort of high-quality ingredients you see at your local farmers’ market. At public school lunch rooms around the country, it’s now possible to taste dishes like shrimp cocktail (with homemade cocktail sauce), grass-fed burgers with roasted potatoes, and burrito bowls with local veggies and antibiotic-free chicken. Realizing how vital farm-to-school programs are to local economies, state governments from Alaska to Texas are encouraging regional purchasing, in some cases doling out grants to districts that want to buy more local and regional food. Bon Appétit story.
National Magazine Spotlights Vineyard Schools’ ‘Locavore’ Lunches
Martha’s Vineyard public school cafeteria staff, students and especially the Island Grown Initiative got a high-profile pat on the back this week from the tastemaking foodie magazine Bon Appetit. In an article posted Friday and titled “At These Public Schools, Cafeteria Food Is Healthy, Tasty—and Locavore,” Martha’s Vineyard is on a short list of seven school systems where students are eating locally-grown food in their campus cafeterias — and even growing their own. Martha’s Vineyard Patch story.
Female hunters on the rise
This year’s hunting season brings evidence of a steady trend over recent years: More female hunters are out in the woods toting shotguns. National Geographic takes note of Census Bureau stats that show women now make up 11% of the nation’s 13.7 million hunters, up from 9% in 2006. What’s going on? The story hits on a slew of factors, including the increased popularity of the sustainable and local-food movements and their focus on paying attention to where the food on our plates comes from. “Hunting may be the next frontier for local food,” says author Lily Raff McCaulou. “I was pretty detached from what I ate before I started hunting.” (And vegetarians, take note: She also eats less meat now, she says.) USA Today story.
Liquid locavores soaking up Wisconsin-distilled products
Like their beer- and wine-producing counterparts, craft distillers produce small-batch spirits tailored to their own tastes and designed to appeal to the liquid locavore. Some of these businesses are small one-distiller operations, others are offshoots of successful wineries — and all offer a unique signature spin. Many produce vodka, the starter spirit for most craft distillers because it’s the quickest route to profitability. Others specialize in unusual concoctions, including the once-banned absinthe, “white” whiskey and “crancello,” a local version of the popular limoncello that features cranberries, one of the state’s top crops. The only limits on new products, it seems, are distillers’ imaginations. Wisconsin Gazette story.
A Locavore Bakery Opens in Rutland
The breads and pastries, all baked with King Arthur Flour, will remain, including rustic loaves such as sour wheat-barley. Billings is especially excited about the bakery’s four flavors of English muffin, perfect for his breakfast egg sandwiches. In December, he’ll introduce bagels to the menu, too. Though locals are sure to pop in for pastries and a Speeder & Earl’s Coffee raspberry mocha or peppermint hot chocolate, the Bakery’s sandwiches might tempt them to sit down and enjoy a meal in the 20-seat café. Seven Days story.
Certification gets conservation easements on the ground faster
The nation’s top easement program for protecting fertile agricultural land is making it easier for people to enroll land through advanced certification. The Farm and Ranchlands Protection Program is certifying eligible entities, such as states, organizations or tribes, to place lands in this Farm Bill conservation easement program. USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service administers the program that has protected more than 2 million acres of the nation’s most valuable lands for the production of food, feed and fiber since 1996. USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service post.
AND IF YOU HAVE TIME
Italy’s Emerging Food & Ag Tech Startup Ecosystem
Rural technology adoption in Italy is fairly limited, Helsen and Giordano tell me, as is venture funding or financing of any kind. To address these challenges, Giordano and Francesco Martusciello, co-founder of Gaff Digital Strategy and Grotta Del Sole winery, secured a 1.2 million euro grant from the government to launch Rural Hub, a physical and virtual business incubator that will offer rural startups mentorship, research and connections to funders. Rural Hub organized the rural innovation track at the Internet Festival and hosted an investor pitch day to expose the venture community to this sector. The following is a selection of some of the more promising start-ups….. Food+Tech Connect post.