We are starting to see a lot of changes in our food supply as a result of COVID-19. Large meat processing plants are closing in South Dakota, Iowa, Pennsylvania, and likely more to come as workers become ill from COVID-19. Perhaps this can lead to changes in the regulation of processing plants and our meat supply generally.
Meanwhile, reports suggest that consumer demand for local sustainably grown food is increasing. Some farms are moving to delivery or online sales as local farmers markets are closed or place restrictions on sales, prohibiting the gathering of crowds. Member farms are seeing an increasing number of orders and I know that they are working harder than ever. We at Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund (FTCLDF) are thrilled about this silver lining in the COVID-19 situation. We want to learn more about what’s happening and better serve our members as they begin to consider making changes to how they provide farm fresh or artisan food directly to consumers.
We heard that some of our members are concerned about how to keep their increased consumer base going forward after the COVID-19 crisis is over. On May 7, 2020, we are offering a free members only webinar with farm marketing expert Charlotte Smith, entitled “3 Steps to Keep Customers Coming Back after the Pandemic is Over.” The one-hour webinar will be held at 10:00 a.m. Pacific, 12:00 p.m. Central, and 1:00 p.m. Eastern time. Only members can attend, and there is a replay option for members to watch later. So if you’re not a member yet, I suggest you hurry to become one. If you are a member, keep a look out. On May 4 or so, we will send members the link and instructions so that members can access the event. I for one am really excited and look forward to learning more about farm marketing.
Members – Complete the FTCLDF Survey!
In addition, members will soon receive a request to complete a survey from us. The purpose of this survey is for FTCLDF to learn more about how COVID-19 is impacting farm and food producing operations, and what needs members have as a result. We wish to always improve our service and representation.
Members (and other food producers), I thank you for all that you do. Thank you for feeding the country with fresh, wholesome food. When you receive the survey, please complete it so we can continue to improve. In the meantime, please keep safe and healthy, and let us know what you need.
Consumers – Support Your Farmers!
To our consumer members and concerned citizens, this involves you as well. If farms and food producers are supported, you will have greater access to farm-fresh food. Consider becoming a consumer member today to support the local food supply.
YOUR FUND AT WORK
Services provided by FTCLDF go beyond legal representation for members in court cases.
Educational and policy work also provide an avenue for FTCLDF to build grassroots activism to create the most favorable regulatory climate possible. In addition to advising on bill language, FTCLDF supports favorable legislation via action alerts and social media outreach.