Increasing interest in farmer-direct food has sent the number of farmers markets and CSA programs across the country skyrocketing. Cutting out the middleman provides us fresher food, often cheaper, and it allows us to support our growers and producers directly—a worthy cause if there ever was one. And now, you can take that commitment even further, with a new website called FarmerOwned.com.
While it may seem that farmers have quite enough to do with getting up before dawn and growing your food, some of them actually own a number of well known food brands, too. FarmerOwned.com helps connect you with products that are owned by America's farmers.
According to a press release announcing the site launch, "America's farmer owned companies handle, process and market almost every type of commodity grown in the U.S.," and, "because they are farmer owned, the proceeds from the sale of their products are returned to their farmer owners. This, in turn, also benefits local communities across the U.S., especially those dependent on agriculture. "
A click through the site alerted me to a few facts I didn't know: Welch's, TreeTop and Sun-Maid Raisins, are all farmer owned. So is Blue Diamond, maker of almond products. But the site lacks any organic presence: Organic Valley, the nation's largest organic dairy farmer cooperative, is suspiciously missing from the roster, but Land o' Lakes and several other dairy brands (I'd never heard of any of them) were listed.
Still, the site is in its early stages, so perhaps the roster will grow, giving consumers a well-rounded ability to choose more farmer-direct products. And who knows, maybe it will even offer an incentive to more farmers to start their own food brands as well and give us more farmer-owned options in the supermarkets as well as the farmers markets.
Keep in touch with Jill on Twitter @jillettinger