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The farmers market is moving online

The Verge: “The pandemic brought rampant growth for local food distribution platforms…the pandemic came, and it hit farms hard. Supply chains, customer bases, and in some cases labor were upended. Small and medium-sized independent farms that relied on restaurant wholesale lost huge percentages of their business overnight. Some local CSAs folded. Some farming operations went belly up. Others, however, found a new path online. Farmer-specific e-commerce apps and services — among them, GrazeCart, Farmdrop, Farmigo, and GrownBy — have cropped up in recent years, offering the direct-to-consumer sales, customizable CSAs, preorders and delivery that farmers markets haven’t. When the pandemic began, this tech offered a new world of possibility…As with so many other shifts the pandemic accelerated, this growth shines a light on trends that were already in play: the waning of farmers market attendance; the growing demand for home delivery. “Farmers markets were really a counterproductive business model for a lot of farmers,” says Tortora, a former chef who founded WhatsGood in 2014. In recent years, farmers markets across the US reported a “downward trend,” with year-over-year attendance and sales down by between 20 and 70 percent as of 2018, even while interest in locally sourced food has ticked upward…”

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