Although 96% of the 2 million farms in the United States are family-owned, the top 5% of farms, mostly run by large corporations, make 75% of the sales. Worst of all, one-third of the food produced by local families never makes it from farm to table.
With its innovative online platform, CropMobster is solving that problem by helping family farms to find buyers for this excess food—while supplementing their income, it also funnels food to those in need. To date, CropMobster has prevented more than a million servings of local food from going to waste.
“I don’t believe in competition in this sector,” Papadopoulos told TechRepublic. “In almost every case, these businesses are totally complementary of each other.”
The website, founded in 2013, allows farmers to list surplus food and other farm products for sale, giving buyers the opportunity to purchase these useful supplies at an affordable rate.
It also allows farmers to list their surplus items for donation if they so choose. CropMobster also uses Facebook and other social media to get the word out about unused goods, as well as a free email list for subscribers.
Among the many success stories in California, CropMobster has helped an elementary school to start a vegetable garden, has provided an easy vehicle for a grocery delivery company to donate its leftovers, and has helped the Ceres Community Project to acquire food for its healthy meal programs for the seriously ill.
“We had a professional chef posting the contents of her fridge and it was gone within the hour,” said Papadopoulos.
In addition to its philanthropic and family-farm-sustaining impacts, CropMobster is also doing addressing the climate crisis. If food waste were a country, it would be be the third-largest contributor of greenhouse gas emissions in the world, after China and the United States. By helping producers to find those who need their surplus food, these emissions are being reduced every day.
CropMobster’s online platform is free to use for both farmers and buyers. To learn more or get involved, watch the video below, and visit cropmobster.com. (Featured Photo courtesy of GaryCedar/Cropmobster)
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