FamilyFarmed is a non-profit organization committed to expanding the production, marketing and distribution of locally grown and responsibly produced food, in order to enhance the social, economic, and environmental health of our communities.
“I have been growing vegetables in Saint Anne, IL for over 13 yrs, and have seen first hand how FamilyFarmed is helping to grow markets for my product. FamilyFarmed has played an important role in building local food systems in Illinois for over 10 years by addressing technical assistance issues for fruit and vegetable growers selling into wholesale and institutional markets. With the help of FamilyFarmed, I have been selling product to the Chicago Public School System for the past two years. As we expand our packinghouse and involve additional local growers, we hope to increase our sales to Chicago Public Schools in the future.” – Adam DeGroot, Farmer, DeGroot’s Vegetable Farm
“[FamilyFarmed’s] Good Food Trade Show has been a great place to meet new producers and build relationships with the broader local food community.” – Bobby Turner, VP of Purchasing, Whole Foods Market
“A partnership with FamilyFarmed will strengthen our already significant efforts at sustainable restaurant operations.” – Stephen Miller, Vice President, Premier Restaurant Group at Midway International Airport
More than 99% of agricultural products consumed in America are purchased through wholesale channels, so creating new wholesale markets for family farmers is key to building local food systems. FamilyFarmed works to build and connect the supply and demand for local food by providing technical assistance to farmers, connecting wholesale buyers with producers, and helping to create infrastructure that supports the growth of these systems.
Through our technical assistance programs, farmers learn how to grow and sell food for Wholesale Markets. We also hold events such as our annual Good Food Festival & Conference where farmers and trade buyers can meet and develop relationships.
In addition, we work with many leading buyers of local food including Whole Foods Market, Chipotle Mexican Grill, Compass Group, Chicago Public Schools, Testa Produce, Lettuce Entertain You, Natural Direct,Local Foods, US Foods, Mariano’s, Illinois Restaurant Association, Green Chicago Restaurant Coalition, Treasure Island Foods, UNFI, Fortune Fish & Gourmet, KeHe, Central Grocers, Anthony Marano Company and others to connect them with local food sources. FamilyFarmed also partners with the Green Chicago Restaurant Coalition to work directly with restaurants in the Chicago area to increase local food sourcing. At the 2013 Good Food Festival & Conference McCormick Place, O’Hare Airport, and Midway Airport announced huge commitments to buying local and responsibly produced food in partnership with FamilyFarmed.
FamilyFarmed has partnered with the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) to help develop their local food procurement program. In the past four years, their foodservice providers have purchased over $7 million in food from local farmers, including one million pounds of antibiotic-free chicken sourced from an Indiana Amish farm, the largest purchase of its type in the US. FamilyFarmed and Chartwells-Thompson Hospitality expanded this program in Michigan, where they purchased one million pounds of local apples. We are now working with CPS’s new foodservice company, Aramark, to expand this program to all CPS schools, a 50% increase. As part of this effort, Aramark will be adding an organic salad to daily menus. We also partnered with CPS on a School Garden Food Safety project where we created a manual and training materials that have for the first time allowed CPS cafeterias to source and serve produce from their own school gardens!