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Ideas for a Better Food System :: Distribution

Portland's Organically Grown Company helps distribute food from small, local farms.

SEEDS WATER SOIL PROCESSING WORKERS DISTRIBUTION
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Small, local farms have a tough time getting products into supermarkets, which prefer year-round deliveries. After years of puzzling over that dilemma, the founders of Portland’s Organically Grown Company worked out solutions. They convinced local farmers to stagger planting schedules. They purchased seasonal crops from farmers further south as needed. And they helped farmers showing up with muddy crates of beans to package their goods more attractively.

Stores loved the fresh vegetables, and the small nonprofit grew into an employee- and farmer-owned company of 160 staff. In addition to providing local organic foods, Organically Grown Company runs its warehouse entirely with wind power, fuels its trucks with biodiesel, and pays its employees wages that keep them with the company for the long haul.


James Trimarco wrote this article in the series New (and Old) Ideas for a Better Food System as part of Food for Everyone, the Spring 2009 issue of YES! Magazine. James is a consulting editor for YES! Magazine whose work has appeared in Vanity Fair and The Brooklyn Rail.
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