East Contra Costa County residents have a new way to embrace the local farming community by being able to place food orders online for locally grown and high quality products.
Farmigo is a new food system that takes food and products directly from the producers, distributes it in Berkeley and then delivers it to order to local pickup points. Products include fruits and vegetables, beef, chicken, eggs, breads and much more.
Alli Cecchini, executive director of First Generation Farmers, was happy to see this type of service finally become available. She sees it as a way to help small farmers.
“Being so close to the technology capital of the world, I’ve been waiting for something like this and it finally happened. There is going to be a lot more of this online farm stand, I like that it’s geared to the small producers because it’s hard for us to get large contracts. It connects the producer to the consumer,” explained Cecchini. “I really want to see how it works in order to create some momentum for the small farmers in Brentwood. That is really what I want to do with it. I want to create more avenues for the small farms.”
Julian Erggelet, a Board of Director, agreed highlighting that if you want to shop local, sustainable, and get good high quality products, you have limited options. If one has access to farmers, you can get limited seasonable produce or products. But for fish, meats, etc, you have to drive to the store.
“We have been looking for alternatives of how we can offer the community items a broader range of selection through a third party provider. The issue was how do we source it because we have a strict mission and finally found someone,” explained Erggelet. “What they do is they are an online food delivery service that kicks out the distributor. They work directly with the producer and not the middle man which means the producers get an order and makes the product whether its cheese, salami or bread and it goes to a location in Berkley for sorting. Then it is delivered to community pickup locations.”
Erggelet says the beauty of the program is the producers get a higher return on their labor.
According to Erggelet, the producers now get 65% of the net price which is typically 30-35% in a classical distribution environment. The other benefit, is all the products are within 200-miles of the order distribution in an effort to keep everything fresh and ensure fast turnover.
He noted the Siren Fish Company in Santa Rosa who are a cooperative of fisherman. They got fed up with selling fish for a dumping price to big factories. Through the help of one of their daughters, they organized and began selling products together at a farmers market and then moved to Farmigo.
“If you are interested in fish that is caught local and in season, you can purchase it. To ensure the freshness, they have cooling sleeves that ensure the freshness up to 8-hours after pickup,” says Erggelet.
He further highlighted the best place to get produce and goods is from a farm, not a grocery store.
“The best place to pick up food is on a farm. Now the community can get together for a pickup and create an experience,” says Erggelet. “Order everything you need and pick it up at the farm. Grab your vegetables, meats, breads, say hello to the goats with your kids and go home. It’s supposed to be fun.”
With the first pickup set for April 25, Erggelet says they want to make it fun for the entire family and continue it each Monday because if a 1,000 people start supporting local farmers and producers, it makes a huge difference.
“What we want to do is establish this pickup as an event. Every Monday, a little bit of music, interaction, check on the animals and get back into understanding the cycle of where the food comes from which we think will benefit the community and make food and eating and shopping a lot more fun,” explained Erggelet. “We simply are increasing our offerings to the community through a cooperative and interacting with other organizations that do good stuff. We can help the community member have less of an impact while having better food. At the same time, we have leverage to support local businesses and organizations doing good things by giving them more traffic. We are doing positive business enhancement.”
- Log into farmigo.com
- Enter Zip Code
- Choose a pickup local – select First Generation Farmers
- Select products you want
- Food will be delivered to the pickup location.
- April 25 – food pickup.
You may visit them online at www.firstgenerationfarmers.org
Look Sunday, as we will be profiling the First Generation Farmers in greater detail.