Florida Farmers Avoiding Produce Dumps By Selling Directly to Customers

Florida Farmers Avoiding Produce Dumps By Selling Directly to Customers

Since the Coronavirus Pandemic started in the United States, farms that typically serve restaurants, amusement parks, and cruise ships are transforming their business into agriculture that is more supported on the community level.

Just one month ago, farmers were letting endless tons of produce go to waste in their fields. This is because typically this food would have been purchased by restaurants, theme parks, and cruise ships for consumption. Since the Covid-19 pandemic started, these businesses have mostly been closed for business, therefore not needing the produce.

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This month, farmers are altering their business model by selling directly to customers who are doing increased cooking from home since the pandemic significantly altered their lives.

Making this change was challenging. Florida farmers are now getting help from the state’s agriculture department. The department is helping farmers by creating a website to connect them to buyers on the local level.

Map Business
The Florida Farm to You page now features an interactive map in which users can enter their address, city or ZIP code to find growers near them.

Florida consumers can search the website to find farms and co-ops near them and a menu of what each farm offers.

Farms have many different styles of operations. For example, some farms grow mainly mono-crops. A farm of this nature would grow tomatoes for ketchup for example.

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Casondra Myers and Ellen Henslee pack produce delivery boxes at Front 9 Farm. Photograph: Dane Rhys/Reuters

Other farms have more biodiversity and engage in farming that is more organic. These farms have a big variety of specialty produce that in the past were typically sold at high-end restaurants. Some of this variety includes Caimito, citrus, mamey sapote, papaya, sapodilla, jackfruit, chard, collards, kale, escarole, greens, beets, cabbage, celery, corn, cucumber, eggplant, green beans, green peppers, peppers, okra, tomatoes, scallions, turmeric, yellow squash, zucchini, and oyster mushrooms. Additionally, some farms are even offering milkshakes, poultry, seafood, and shellfish.

Now is a good time for Floridians to try some food at home that is typically only available at high priced restaurants and other venues.

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