Farmigo is an online farmers market where users can find fresh vegetables and fruits, dairy products including unique cheeses, locally caught fish, day-of baked bread, and pantry items like granola and other snacks.
“Basically, it’s a way for you to buy all of your fresh produce, meat, dairy, baker and fisherman related stuff, directly from the person who grew it or made your food,” says Benzi Ronen, Farmigo’s CEO and founder.
“For my family, I wanted to get the freshest food possible that was healthy for them, and I enjoyed going to the farmers market,” Ronen says. “I like finding it directly from the person who grew it. It’s fresher. And there was no way to do that. The supermarkets just have food that’s not that great — it’s grown in an industrial food system, and it’s not fresh. I knew there would be a better way using the Internet to connect eaters directly with farmers and the growers of their food. And that began the journey.”
For farmers, Farmigo helps boost profit and gives local businesses a platform for discovery and accessibility. “Farmers are in a pretty big bind right now,” says Ronen. “They do a majority of the work to grow our food, and then they end up selling to a wholesaler or to a supermarket chain that only gives them 20 percent of what you pay. Growing organically is expensive, growing responsibly and sustainably is expensive, and without getting proper funds, it’s very difficult for them to compete with the industrial growers. So what we do is we’re really enabling them to get 60 percent of the dollar you pay as a consumer, and it allows them to have a sustainable business and even grow it.”
Gotham Greens, an urban agriculture company, is one of the small businesses that works with Farmigo. Gotham Greens utilizes four commercial-scale rooftop greenhouses in New York City and Chicago for its production. They focus primarily on leafy greens and herbs because they’re the things that travel the furthest, says Nicole Baum, marketing manager at Gotham Greens.
“Our relationship with Farmigo I think is very mutually beneficial. For them, they have access to this very high-quality, pesticide-free, local produce year-round, consistently. For us, we have this wonderful product and we know that we’ll always have interested, really engaged customers that will consistently be ordering the product,” she says.
Every morning, the Gotham team harvests up fresh produce. Food is packaged on site and then delivered directly to Farmigo, which takes care of the logistics in getting the product to the end consumer.
Farmigo users can go online, put in their zip code, find a nearby pickup location, and place their order. Pickup locations are at select food hubs, like schools. “As a really busy New York City mom, it’s so convenient to be able to order the produce on the computer, and then pick it up here when I get my little boy after school,” says one user. Says another, “We use Farmigo because some money goes back to the school, and we’re helping local farmers, and the product’s really good.”
Farmigo is currently available in New York, New Jersey, Northern California, and Seattle-Tacoma. Expansion plans are the goal. “We want Farmigo to be a service that’s available to everybody across the country,” says Ronen. “There shouldn’t be anybody in any suburb or any city that doesn’t have access to the best food that’s locally grown from a community of their own producers.”
He adds, “We’ll start with the U.S. and then we’ll take on the world.”