The Wilfrid Laurier Centre for Sustainable Food Systems undertakes community-based research to address challenges related to the global food system. They identified that while there is high consumer demand for sustainably grown food from small scale farmers at farmer’s markets, the margins are too low for small scale producers who end up wasting or discounting unsold product, and farmer’s markets are often inaccessible to food insecure communities. To combat these issues, researchers recruited and trained small scale ecological farmers to supply a network of virtual pop-up markets.
They successfully increased local fresh food access for communities with limited access to sustainable foods while simultaneously assisting the marketing and sales of small-scale ecological farmers and reducing food waste. 85 local growers supplied products to the online markets, generating a combined $55,000 in new revenue for farmers in the first nine months.
- Check out CIRA’s blog, Urban food insecurity and isolated farmers: Tackling two issues with the internet
- To learn more, read the Open Food Network user guide