Building Local and Regional Food Systems - Part Two
Many consumers like the idea of buying local food, but the infrastructure to grow local food systems is lacking. Walden Local Meat has built that infrastructure in the northeast by partnering with producers and offering last mile delivery to consumers. CEO Philip Giampietro says partnering with processors was a critical component.
Giampietro… “What you typically see is everybody wanting to process in the fall. So come late October, definitely by September and into early November, nobody can get slots, processors are full, and then you come to February and it's totally dead. And that's really hard. It's hard from a labor perspective. It's hard from an asset perspective. It's hard from a planning (perspective). And so there's just not a good match of what, you know, maybe an individual farmer can do versus what a processing plant can do. So we work among our farming partners to help them work with each other: who has the best over entering facilities, who can do that, how do we schedule them, how do we work with other partners that don't. And schedule between those farmers to balance out how those animals flow from farmer to processor and then eventually to our member families so that the system is really well balanced. And that balance is really so critical.”
Walden Local Meat helps to create and maintain that balance for building local food systems.