Farmers are businessmen.
Farmers are meteorologists.
Farmers are biologists.
Farmers are environmental scientists.
Farmers are growers.
Farmers are land stewards.
Farmers are sophisticated.
Farmers aren’t greedy.
And without them, we’d all be hungry.
They work from before dawn to well after dusk, seven days a week, throughout the heat of the summer and cold of the winter, to get food to our tables.
This Thanksgiving, as we plan our holiday feast around their harvest, we are particularly thankful for our partner growers. We know their struggles, what makes them proud, what motivates them, and we do everything we can to support them in their work. That starts with reducing waste at the farm level and paying farmers fair prices for their entire yield.
Our mission is to partner with growers to end the 20 billion pounds of produce that goes uneaten every year. In the US, nearly 18% of cropland is used to grow food that we throw away. 65,500 acres, or 4% of planted fruit and vegetable fields, never get harvested each year.
So much of a farmer’s profit and loss is dependent on this farm-level waste. The more produce they can’t sell, the less their yearly profit. We help to eliminate the waste and fill in revenue gaps for growers. We pay fair prices for product they otherwise can’t sell due to aesthetic imperfections, logistical inefficiencies or price fluctuations in the market.
The saying goes on a farm “A good year on a farm is when you break even.” Can you imagine if the rest of society functioned this way — not knowing whether or not you’re going to make money that year based on weather, the environment and the economy?
Weather is an unpredictable and frustrating factor for all growers. The early freeze this year on November 10th meant farmers, especially in the Hudson Valley up in New York, had to harvest early.
We had dozens of growers calling us trying to sell their product. They literally had tons of surplus caused by the early freeze. Since they had to pick their crops early, they couldn’t spread out their harvest to align with their sales schedule.
We’re thankful we were able to rescue some of this harvest from going to waste and help out some of our partner growers along the way, but most of us are never forced to even consider these challenges farmers face.
This Thanksgiving, let’s remember everything farmers have endured to get food from their field to our plates. Say a thank you as you think about the people who grew the food that is on your Thanksgiving plate. We know we will.