Farmers Are Getting Into Virtual Marketplace With Online Shopping
There’s nothing like the taste of a fresh, ripe tomato picked straight off the vine and put into your salad. Combine that goodness with convenience and you’ve got online shopping from the farm to your door. Local farmers are joining the virtual marketplace, delivering healthy greens and produce with the click of a mouse. When you e-order from companies like Georgia-based Fresh Harvest, they harvest your produce from local farms, load up a basket, and within 24 hours, fresh fruits, vegetables, milk, and eggs arrive. This farm to table virtual experience services approximately 2,000 customers every week in the Atlanta area. “The food comes from just down the road and is harvested the same day we receive it. And then it’s delivered the next day to consumers’ homes. We are talking to anywhere from 15 to 20 different local farmers every week,” Fresh Harvest co-founder Zac Harrison told CNN.
Another southern virtual farmers market is Moore Farms and Friends, located in Woodland, Alabama, run by husband and wife farmers Will and Laurie Moore. Their farmer directory represents the Southeastern United States, with farms in Alabama and North Carolina. They assemble “fresh, local and organic food from our farmers to your table.” The difference here is they don’t deliver. “Our farmers deliver their weekly harvests and we custom pack your order for pick up in one of our 20 convenient locations,” Moore said in their promotional video. Online farmers markets are even popping up in cities like New York. Our Harvest is a site “where farmers meet online grocery.” They service the boroughs of Manhattan, Brooklyn, Long Island, and Queens, delivering locally grown fruit and veggies from nearby farms in New Jersey, Long Island, Connecticut and upstate New York. Online farming has caught on in the restaurant business as well. A farmer posts information about his newest blueberry crop on his site, and minutes later, a local chef reserves several bushels via e-mail. One of the top aggregates matching farmers with chefs is Food-Hub.org, with over 6,000 members in the Pacific Northwest. Online grocery shopping is expected to reach 20% by 2025 with $100 billion in annual consumer sales according to the Food Marketing Institute. They also predict 40% of brick and mortar companies turning to an online presence. With statistics like this, digital shopping may just be the only way to buy your fruits and veggies in the future.