Rites of Spring: Forager Launches to Ignite the Local Food Economy
Pointed out by the company, the month of March marked the beginning of the vernal equinox, and Forager is unveiling a new digital platform to help buyers and producers tap into the burgeoning local food market, just as spring knocks on our door and a new growing season begins.
Driven by consumers looking for real, and unadulterated food, and products without additives and preservatives that have been shipped from coast to coast, this $14 billion market is taking flight.
With over 90 percent of consumers choosing food for its freshness, and 40 percent shopping for local foods every week, opportunities abound for grocers, co-ops, food services, wholesalers, and farmers/producers to offer more local products.
Forager’s new online and mobile procurement-to-payment platform is designed to reduce costs and friction at every corner, making the process so much easier to source locally.
The company has already laid claim to successful regional pilot involving 100 farmers and 10 grocers, food-co-ops and wholesalers from Maine.
“We believe that local food can change the world by reducing our dependency on big industrial agriculture, improving our environmental impact, creating more local jobs, making us healthier, and bringing people together. Yet, only three percent of the food we consume is local, and eight large companies control 80 percent of our food supply. By breaking down barriers to local sourcing, we hope to fan the flames of a local food revolution,” said David D. Stone, Forager’s CEO and founder.
Mr Stone is known as a serial technology entrepreneur whose passion is to create and build innovative companies that take advantage of emerging market shifts. As the co-founder of CashStar, which issued $2 billion in digital value in 2016, he catalyzed the great shift from plastic to digital gift cards.
“Forager has made a big difference to our local sourcing process. As a result, we estimate we save at least six to eight percent in labor costs. We have been waiting for a service like this for a long time,” said John Crane, General Manager, Portland Food Co-op.
“The Forager platform has made it easier for us to keep buyers informed about our product availability, saved us time bookkeeping, and helped us keep a clear online trail of our transactions,” said Margaret (Meg) Mitchell, owner of South Paw Farm in Freedom, Maine.