FarmMatch.com has become the world’s fastest growing local foods search engine. Raw milk activist, Max Kane, and software firm owner David King launched the website in the fall of 2012 to strengthen the local food movement and build community. In this article, Kane writes about the benefits FarmMatch has to offer farmers and consumers and the potential to help growing and protecting local food systems.
Can you imagine going to your legislators’ offices and speaking to them about why you want local GMO-free farm food or raw milk, and then right in the middle of your talk you deploy the power of a visual aid by pulling up a map of their voting district on a laptop computer, showing them tens of thousands of their voting constituents who want GMO-free farm food, or raw milk, etc…?
Over the past ten years of traveling and speaking at local food conferences, workshops, potlucks, and courthouse rallies (sometimes my own), I always hear the same question from everyone. It’s the question that each and every one of us who cares about getting non-GMO food from a small-scale local farmer has burning in our longing soul.
How are we going to unite?
Well the opportunity is now in your hands. FarmMatch.com made its debut online September 11, 2012, only seven months ago and has already earned the trust of 7,000+ users on 6 different continents. This map-based local food search engine was created by David King’s Chicago-based software firm Amagisoft and myself (Max Kane). Rob Eddy (one of the founders and lead programmer) and I have been working closely virtually every day for what feels like a week, but in reality is more than a year. Things go fast when building anything, and everyday counts. You can blink and a week will blow right past you.
The Amagisoft team is not only hard-working and extremely talented, but they’re literally passionate about the project. These guys really care and built our movement a platform that will push local food mainstream! As far as I’m concerned, small farmers need that “mainstream” cash flow.
We live in a world where the doctors are rich and the farmers are poor. That’s going to change sooner than you think. Right now we are in the middle of a major food shift and it’s up to us to keep it moving.
What can you do to help push it forward?
The sign-up process takes just a few minutes and the time to make your statement about food is NOW! We need to use our voice to be counted; otherwise, we won’t be counted.
FarmMatch.com is a place that your voice will be heard. That’s a guarantee. The website offers four main discovery (search) mechanisms, which not only itemizes an array of foods but also specifies quality standards to ensure the “healthy” in healthy food–#4 is my favorite.
This is where Consumers, Buying Clubs, and Restaurants can find local farmers to supply their food needs. Farmers Market managers can even search for a farmer to provide a specialty item they would like offered in their market.
The opposite of food-discovery: Farmers, in addition to other things, can now: 1) search for customers who want the food they grow; 2) search for the foods the market wants, enabling them to make informed decisions on what to grow; and 3) make confident, geographically-driven decisions for delivery locations based upon where interested consumers live.
The value of connecting with other nutritionally-minded people in one’s own community is priceless in our institutionalized food system. Prepare to connect!
When consumers put themselves on the FarmMatch map, they literally become activists in their own right because they are making a statement about food to the world, and their voice is heard accordingly.
FarmMatch.com delivers super user-friendly, world-class, technology to the fingertips of small farmers and consumers around the globe. We have just released an eCommerce feature that is FREE for any farmer to use. The cart terminal is equipped with super low credit card processing rates and includes an extensive business management, order, inventory and sales reporting system.
In no particular order I respectfully thank everyone that has come forward to endorse the site: Joel Salatin, Ana Joanes, Mark Kastel, Sally Fallon Morell, Vernon Hershberger, Kristin Canty, Mark McAfee, Alvin Schlangen, Shannon Hayes, and others.
When you “put yourself on the map”, you can choose to have your name show (public) or just your city/state/zip code (private).
Listen to Episode 5 of the Food Rights Hour podcast about FarmMatch