It’s not always easy for farmers to get their produce, eggs, milk and products right to their customers. A new startup called Farmstr is hoping to change that relationship, forming a direct line between the producer and consumer.
And just a few weeks ago, they got $1.3 million from angel investors to do so.
Founded in February 2013, Farmstr is the brainchild of 41 year-old Janelle Maiocco, who grew up on a farm in Washington State. “I have a passion and understanding of that space,” Maiocco said to GeekWire. “Farmers are my people.”
Maiocco’s goal: to have sustainable farmers, fisheries and ranchers sell directly to consumers. From pea shoots to honey, producers put their products for sale on the site’s platform, and consumers choose what they’d like to purchase and pick it up at a local drop-site. (For now, Farmstr is just servicing the Pacific Northwest, those lucky ducks.) Maiocco often calls her platform the “Airbnb for local farm food”.
Not only is the platform easy to use, but Maiocco says it’s cheaper than going to a farmer’s market. Because farmers don’t have to deal with intermediaries who charge the farmer a retailer’s fee, Maiocco told GeekWire that 90 percent of food sold on Farmstr is cheaper than common chains like Whole Foods or PCC Natural Market. By cutting out the retailer, farmers are raking in more money, and consumers are getting fair prices.
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Maiocco aiming for better food at better prices, and wants to build a community while doing it. “Our goal is to build local community,” says Farmstr’s website, “and bring consumers the option of ‘know your farmer’ and ‘know your food.’ Farmstr is about Little Agriculture, and helping small, sustainable, organic quality producers succeed by helping them find customers like you, and an efficient way to directly sell their quality food.”
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FEATURED PHOTO: Nimish Gogri/Flickr