Location: Organically Grown Company, Eugene, OR
Featuring: Brian Keogh,
Cooperative distribution unites supply and distribution systems, enabling farms to thrive by allowing them to focus on growing quality produce instead of the selling, marketing and delivery of their product.
“By the time most food reaches the end-consumer they have very little awareness of its growing conditions or environmental impact, or even who the farmer is,” says Brian Keogh of Organically Grown Company. Organically Grown Company is owned by both the farmer and employees. Prosperity is shared among all stakeholders to create an even distribution of wealth, helping both the distributor and farmer share in the profits of a successful business. Their truck reads “42 Organic Farms, 1 Organic brand.”
Brian says distributors play a key role in handling the nuanced logistics and marketing that connect supply-side “growers” with demand-side “eaters”. Fruit and vegetable growers, for example, face constant ups and downs, like weather related crop failures, transportation issues and price spikes. Distributors help smooth out the bumps at the retail level by coordinating transport and production. They can also educate buyers about seasonality, new and heirloom varieties, family farming, fair trade certification, organic farming practices, sustainable packaging and more. Finally, distributors like OGC can even help regional growers coordinate annual production, mapping out what crops and volumes to grow so as to meet predicted demand.