Stephen Williamson, co-Founder of Forager Project, recently spoke with Michelle Courtright, agriculture and food writer based out of Austin, Texas. In the interview with Courtright, Williamson says, “I think people should embrace the idea that they might want to really think about where their food comes from, how it’s made, and who are the people behind it.” We couldn’t agree more!
Plant-based food company Forager Project recently invested $10,000 in CCOF’s Future Organic Farmer program. A full 100 percent of this donation will support the next generation of organic producers, who may one day become organic suppliers for businesses like Forager Project. As plant-based alternatives grow in popularity among some consumers, an ever-pressing challenge for companies like Forager is sourcing ingredients domestically. Supply chains for vegan products sold in the United States are almost always international (especially for popular vegan items like cacao, coconut, and turmeric), but these supply chains can be disrupted by pandemics, climate disasters, and global political instability. What’s more, as consumers increasingly demand more localized, traceable supply chains, more businesses see the benefit of investing in the future of organic in the United States. Efforts to source from the United States require not only additional organic farmers producing the needed ingredients but also a skilled and passionate contingent of youth who want to become organic farmers themselves. This is where the CCOF Foundation’s Future Organic Farmer program comes in handy.
Forager Project will support future organic farmers who carve their own paths to becoming organic producers. CCOF’s Benefits report concludes that “demand for organic as well as better crop prices are two important factors for the next generation of American farmers who will help ensure a stable domestic food supply. Our nation’s farmer population is aging rapidly, and the USDA reports 20 percent fewer beginning farmers in 2012 compared to 2007.” Despite the drop in the number of new farmers, new organic farmers significantly outnumber their conventional counterparts in the United States. The Benefits report continues: “In California, 32 percent of organic farmers are beginning farmers compared to 26.5 percent in agricultural generally.” The CCOF Foundation supports new organic farmers ranging from high school FFA students to higher education and vocational students wishing to farm to the USDA organic standards.
Learn more about Forager Project at their website. Get involved and donate to support CCOF Foundation’s Future Organic Farmers program today. The entirety of your donation goes directly into the hands of our Future Organic Farmer grantees.