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GoFarm Blog

Food Systems #3: Your Role as a Shareholder

When you get home and unpack your food from your GoFarm share each week, you're not just unloading something tasty to eat, you are actively participating in the local food system. When you purchase a share of local food from GoFarm, you are contributing to a web of positive change.

Let us backup and explain what we mean.

Typically, when you purchase produce from the grocery store, only $.14 to every dollar goes back into the pockets of the farmers who grow that food. The rest of your dollar goes toward the packaging, shipping, storing, and pockets of the retail outlets. The farmer has little to no say in the price they sell their product for, and the sliver of profit they receive makes it very hard for them to thrive, or in some cases, even sustain their farm. (This is why many large farms need government subsidies to survive)

But when you purchase food from GoFarm, the farmers are the ones who set the price of their food, and that price is based on the actual value of what you are buying (not what the grocery store deems as its value). The actual value takes into account the cost of the land, water, and equipment required to grow the food, the work to ensure healthy, rich soils for sustainable growing practices, and the long hours and labor required by our farmers and farm workers, while ensuring equitable and safe working conditions.

With your purchase, your dollars are primarily going back into the hands of local farmers to cover these costs and allow farmers to make a profit.

But it doesn’t end there ...

GoFarm uses a system approach, so all of our programs work together to build a strong local food system. So when you sign up as a shareholder, you are not only paying for a season of good food. You are:

  • making a difference in the livelihoods of our local, small-scale, beginning farmers

  • voting with your dollar and creating demand for local food and sustainable growing practices

  • helping GoFarm improve our food system as a whole

Let’s focus on that last one … helping GoFarm improve our food system as a whole. Your participation and purchase helps provide us with the necessary infrastructure, demand, and funds we need to run ALL our programs. For example, a portion of revenue (along with grant funds and donations) helps cover the costs of:

  • operating the Local Food Share distribution sites (supplies, electricity, labor, educational tools, etc.)

  • setting up low-cost food markets in under-resourced neighborhoods

  • offering discounts and half-priced share options to those who qualify for extra benefits

  • donating food to other community organizations, food pantries, and food assistance programs

  • recruiting and mentoring aspiring and beginning farmers within our incubator program

  • providing aspiring farmers with farmland and water to start their own farm

  • And the list continues …

So, whenever you pick up your food from GoFarm, know that you are not just paying for the food itself. You are taking an active role in building a strong, healthy local food system - one that is thriving, environmentally sustainable, and equitable for all.


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