We were recently alerted to an excellent, new sustainable foods listing site. Farmmatch.com aims to connect consumers, producers and sellers of local food – all elements of the food production chain — by allowing them to post a profile of themselves on a map, listing the produce they buy or sell. This free service is open to farmers, CSAs, farmers markets and consumers of all sizes, from households to restaurants.
For consumers, it showcases the farmers producing what they need and where they can buy fresh local food; for farmers markets, it provides publicity as nearby locations to buy local food; for farmers, it maps their potential market. The site also automatically matches the user to nearby producers and sellers, based on your food preferences.
Launched in September 2012, the site already has 3,700 users, a great number of which are in the DC region. It features any local product: meats, cheese, dairy, honey — anything edible and local. It can even feature local seafood for those in coastal areas. The site is easy to use, one can sort by type of food, by provider, by quality type and location across the US. Its also got the functionality for international listings are well.
The fact that it shows consumers as well as providers also differentiates it from other sites, such as localharvest.org. “We don’t see ourselves as a competitor to that and other great sites which seek to connect people to local providers,” says Liz Reitzig, the site’s publicist. “We feel we are complimentary, and are all working towards the same thing.”
“Our listing goes a bit further in detail for the user, allowing them not only to check the foods they want to buy, but additional information on the level of quality standards, such as if the meat was partially or 100% pastured on grass or if the seeds for the vegetables are non-GMO. Its also got the instant matching capability.”
The project is a brainchild of Max Kane, a local food advocate in Wisconsin whose desire is to see food systems revolutionized and a market where eating local is not an exception, but a commonplace activity. “Our vision is for this to be the ‘go to’ tool for people to chose their foods” says Reitzig.
The creators also envision a political impact of seeing all localvore consumers on a map. “Its a representation of the local foods movement, and can stand as a example of the power of this grassroots movement,” says Reitzig.
The site posting is free to all consumers and producers. Anyone can also become a sponsor and have their listing come up at the top of relevant searches. Those who want to show extra support can help get the word out: link to their facebook site, or even download a banner ad to insert into their blog or website.
Visit the site at: www.farmmatch.com