Bon Appétit Management Compnay donates $8,500 to The Community Alliance with Family Farmers to protect family farms and keep California produce diverse
Palo Alto, Calif. (July 11, 2007) – Do you relish the musky flavor of a Cherokee Purple tomato? Does the sweet, golden flesh of an Elberta peach take you back to the sunniest moment of a long-ago summer? Bon Appétit Management Co. is safeguarding our rich variety of luscious heirloom fruits and vegetables for decades to come by donating $8,500 to the Community Alliance with Family Farmers for replanting and rebuilding California family farms devastated by crop failures caused by freezing temperatures in early 2007.
According to the state secretary for labor, more than 12,000 farm workers lost their jobs and hundreds of family farms are in danger of failing due to crop losses caused by abnormally low temperatures in January. The freeze caused more than $1.2 billion in crop damage throughout the state.
The donation $5,500 of which was raised from customers at their 32 Northern California cafés through the sale of seed-embedded bookmarks purchased seed vouchers of $250 to $400 for 25 family-owned Fresno farms that directly supply Bon Appétit cafés in the region with fresh produce, including many Hmong-American growers. The donation ensures that the sustainable farming practices, community-building and diverse, cross-cultural produce of CAFF farmers will continue, and that Bon Appétit can go on serving up the vibrant colors, flavors and textures of biodiversity on the plate.
“Seed money is a significant chunk of a family farmer’s annual expenditure. This support from Bon Appétit ensures robust harvests now and in the future,” says Anya Fernald, program director of Community Food Systems and Economic Options for CAFF.
Small farmers need seeds to make a living and to fill an integral role in our culture. They are the traditional stewards of biodiversity, by farming the varieties of plants that grow best in their bioregions, growing the crops that are culturally important to them, and growing the heirloom varieties passed through generations by traditional methods.
“Supporting local farmers is the right thing to do,” says Fedele Bauccio, chief executive officer and co-founder of Bon Appétit Management Company. “These farms are the backbone of a food system with integrity. By buying local, we support the values of the local food system — authenticity, trustworthiness and sustainability — but we also support a culture of eating foods that taste glorious. Small farmers make it possible for us to eat the most fresh, delicious foods of the season and the region.”
About Bon Appétit Management Company
Bon Appétit Management Company (www.bamco.com) is an onsite restaurant company offering full food service management to corporations, universities and specialty venues. Bon Appétit is committed to sourcing sustainable, local foods for all cafés throughout the country. A pioneer in environmentally sound sourcing policies, Bon Appétit has developed programs with Environmental Defense, the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch, the Humane Society of the United States, and other leading conservation organizations. Based in Palo Alto, CA, Bon Appétit has more than 400 cafés in 28 states, including Oracle Corporation, American University and the Getty Center.
About Community Alliance with Family Farmers
Community Alliance with Family Farmers (www.caff.org) is a statewide non-profit whose membership includes family farmers and urban residents, working to build a movement of rural and urban people to foster family-scale agriculture that cares for the land, sustains local economies and promotes social justice. Growers Collaborative LLC (www.growerscollaborative.org), is wholly owned by CAFF, and part of CAFF’s Community Food Systems program.