The Benefits of Farm-to-Table Restaurants for Small-Scale Farmers

Farm-to-table initiatives are becoming increasingly popular, as they help to close the gap between local farmers and consumers. These efforts support nearby agricultural businesses and local economies, and there are many reasons why your restaurant should have a good relationship with local farms. Supporting a local farmer by buying their products directly can bring numerous benefits to your restaurant, from attracting new customers to improving your city. Recent statistics show that 66% of Americans would be more likely to dine at a restaurant if they knew their food was sourced locally, and customers are willing to pay more for restaurant experiences. Scottie Jones, a farmer from Oregon, used a SARE grant to create FarmStay, an interactive website that connects people looking for accommodation with farms that offer accommodation.

According to the World Wildlife Fund in the Philippines, “small-scale communities often have little access to markets and farmers are often left without a network to sell their products”. This is where farm-to-table restaurants come in; they provide an opportunity for small-scale farmers to sell their products directly to restaurants, eliminating intermediaries and reducing food waste and performance. In addition, farm-to-school programs aim to help children make healthier food purchasing decisions as they grow. A local farm uses less fuel and generates fewer emissions when it sends the ingredients you bought on their farm to your restaurant kitchen. If you don't have enough space to plant your own crops, farms near you are the best choice as a farm-to-table supplier of produce.

HAFA farmers participate in a CSA with several farmers, which groups the products together to be distributed to more than 400 members. According to the F&B report, “getting produce and livestock from nearby farms not only ensures fresh, safe and clean ingredients, but it also means fewer kilometers of food and additional help for local farmers to earn a living”. Direct sourcing means that you don't need to subtract a part of your sales from the “part” or the percentage of intermediaries, so every penny goes to farmers. For those who want to explore the concept of “from farm to table”, there are companies and social initiatives that connect local farmers with shoppers. Farm-to-table initiatives can help foster community participation and connection by closing the gap between local farmers and consumers. These efforts support nearby agricultural businesses and local economies, while providing customers with fresh, great-tasting, environmentally friendly food.