Spotlight: Farmigo Foods, Community Supported Agriculture


Some big-city food fans keen to forgo urbanized goods are finding their nutrition ecosystem braced with fresh-food access à la Farmigo, a start-up bringing fresh cuisine from the loving hands of local growers onto the family table.


"We believe that many of us are ready for an alternative way to shop, cook, and break bread with our families and friends," writes the Farmigo mission. "For us, it’s about bringing joy to those who savor their food and care where it comes from, who want it fresh from the harvest and still smelling of the earth."


New York and the San Francisco Bay area are the first urban hubs to earn the start-up's food-access platform with local farmers plugging their produce into Farmigo's community-supported agriculture software.


The Farmigo Web site states this CSA technology was the key starting point for local growers to build sustainable businesses, while Farmigo's co-op-style model provides each organizer the incentive of a 10 percent rebate on food orders.


"We had to create our own movement, founded on groups of neighbors ordering individually and picking up together, as a community," the Web site states. "It’s made farm-to-neighborhood a viable option, where fresh food is more accessible and affordable than ever before; nothing goes to waste."


SFBay's Carolyn Said reported Sept.13, 2014, that Farmigo's neighbor groups consist "of at least 10 families, who pick up weekly orders from a central location," with founder Benzi Ronen keying into the Farmigo business model techniques inspired by Israel's kibbutz farms.


"We're doing economies of communities, versus the economies of scale, like Wal-mart," Ronen told Said. This prompts an increase in sales earnings for farmers who, up 'til now, have been locked into place within the pressures of a buyer-strong industry.


Italy-born Laura Chiesa describes her own experience with CSA programs in Israel in 2010 in her blog InsideOut, where she describes the produce brought to her door as fresher, healthier, seasonal, creative and surprising. 

"When I first arrived in Israel, I was surprised by the genuine look of fruits and vegetables. By genuine, I don’t necessarily (sic.) mean beautiful. I am rather referring to their natural look, which embraces imperfections as well as uniqueness," Chiesa writes.


The author argues that European goods, in contrast, sacrifice taste for beauty.


"You can look as hard as you wish; you won’t find any scratch, hole, defect, or (God-forbid) soil attached to the fruits and vegetable," she writes, of the European produce. "All the embellishing treatments and the selective process, coupled with heavy use of pesticide for a fast growth and a plump look, cannot substitute for taste."


But Europe has been on the receiving end of Israel's agricultural exports, state Dr. Arieh Sheskin and Dr. Arie Regev in their Dec. 2001 publication "Israel Agriculture: Facts and Figures."

Israel serves as a "laboratory for advanced agricultural technological innovations of the inputs industries which are exported throughout the world," Sheskin and Regev write, adding that the Start-Up Nation serves as the world's "testing ground for irrigation systems, agricultural equipment and know-how."



Carolyn Said, SFGate
Israel Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development


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