Farm website growing innovation in California economy
Photo credit: John Guenther and S&W Seed Company
California’s Central Valley is home to the one of the country’s most productive agricultural areas, encompassing the Sacramento and San Joaquin Valley regions. Agriculture was much touted recently as the "bright spot" of the California economy during this recession and recovery.
Crops grown in the Valley, which are the primary source of various food products throughout the country, include grapes, apricots, asparagus and cotton. In fact, it’s an industry that generates more than 20 billion dollars annually.
But, not every farm has been able to market its product online, like other small businesses have been doing for years to compete with big businesses. That’s where Fromthefarm.com can help. The online service is hoping to deliver farm fresh food directly to your door.
“We offer farm-fresh specialty foods, bursting with flavor and delivered directly to consumers' doorsteps. From tree-ripened cherries and fresh figs to gourmet Piedmontese Beef, our platform brings farmer's market-quality food to consumers nationwide, while helping family farmers build their businesses,” said Lorna Khoo, Fromthefarm marketing manager.
“We have our farmers ship directly to ensure that our customers receive the freshest food possible,” added Khoo.
While the company is helping pump life back into the local economy, it hasn’t limited itself to the valley. It aims to give consumers access to farmers and their products from across the country.
FromTheFarm was founded three years ago by Derrell Kelso, a fifth-generation farmer, who saw a need to support hardworking family farmers. Kelso, along with general manager Phillip Lan, a Silicon Valley veteran who also grew up on a family farm in the Central Valley, are making sure small farms are able to compete with the bigger agribusinesses.
"Fostering small business innovation is a key component of the California Economic Summit Action Plan," said Susan Lovenburg, director of California Forward’s Partnership for Economic Prosperity." "Helping small businesses to thrive in the state known for cutting-edge start-ups is key to California’s future prosperity."
“Our service gives farmers a brand new avenue of sales, giving them the opportunity to market their goods in front of thousands of potential customers online,” said Khoo. “We spotlight our farmers via e-mail marketing and social media campaigns, introducing their products to consumers who wouldn't normally have local access to such products.”
With 20,000 page visits a month, the company is aiming higher—hoping to increase traffic by introducing new consumers to fresh and unique specialty foods.
“We'd like to think of ourselves as a little slice of Silicon Valley in the Central Valley,” said Khoo.