At one time in our country, farmers raised the majority of the food consumed in the United States. They provided the fruits, vegetables, and other food crops. Unfortunately, today, this is not the case. Food and agriculture monopolies’ influence has moved America’s agriculture production to a monolithic industrial production system. Many farmers have either become the producer of feed grains or the landlord and caretaker of monopoly meatpackers’ livestock, housing them in large scale industrial Confined Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs). Neither option has proven to be a profitable endeavor for the farmer with the farmers’ share of the food dollar dwindling and farm bankruptcies and farmer suicides on the rise. Many farmers are looking for a way out, a way to keep their home and farm, and a way to transition and transform their agriculture practices.
Our Market Innovation Center will focus on developing a pathway for the farmer by assisting in identifying sustainable, regenerative market opportunities, assisting in building the supply chain through a value-based model, and assisting with connecting the consumer to the supply.
The Center will focus its work on market analysis to help farmers, ranchers and entrepreneurs find opportunities that might not be obvious, but are easily replicable in many communities. The Center will go further, working directly on projects that build innovative supply chain models that create opportunities for multiple businesses in the system. Lessons learned from these models will be synthesized and converted into training material and technical assistance tools to help replicate successful models in more communities.
Family Farm Action Alliance will identify those individuals and entities that are demonstrating a successful sustainable and just food and agriculture business model and highlight their work. Using these success stories, Family Farm Action Alliance will promote the viability of local and regional food systems.
As an advocacy organization, we plan to use the knowledge gained through the Center to inform robust policy reforms that dismantle the hyper consolidated system currently in place while cultivating opportunities that will leave farmers, ranchers, and rural communities with real economic prosperity.