from Daniel Matthews’ article on Triple Pundit
It’s easy to think of the small farm as a bastion of The Way Things Used to Be. And it’s comforting. But the reality of small, organic farms is that they are constantly seeking new ways to do more with technology. They’re seeking to increase production, build advanced networks with other farmers, and improve their reach to the consumer.
In terms of networking, marketing, and selling, there are a ton of resources for organic farms. One primary example is Local Orbit. This site claims to, “Support the innovative business models and regional diversity that are hallmarks of the New Food Economy.” Here, the internet is the technology. Local Orbit is a network harnessing the internet, allowing farms to sell in multiple marketplaces from one account. It also supports farms with a built-in suite of back-end tools for marketing products, tracking customers, updating and monitoring inventory, and organizing delivery.
Other important apps include Square, the mobile card-payment system, which makes selling at farmer’s markets so much easier. To notify loyal customers about the upcoming market, the farmer can use the FarmFan app. FarmFan automatically texts participating customers an hour before market as a reminder. According to FarmFan, text messages have a, “97% open-rate within 3 minutes of sending,” and are incredibly effective. Once the customer checks in at the market they can receive loyalty rewards.
The sharing economy and the new food economy, when we get to the root of it, are the same thing. Both represent a modern modification of pre-industrialized work. Both take advantage of evolving tech to facilitate independent transmission of ideas and technologies peer-to-peer. And, both rely on cooperation, a proactive consideration for sustaining local economies and cultures.
Also published on Medium.