Building a web of regional food producers
In 2010, we set a goal to sign up our 1,000th Farm to Fork supplier by the end of the year — and we made it. This milestone represented an increase of 46% in the total number of small-scale, independent vendors with whom we worked companywide.
We wanted to cast our net wider, to fishers, and to harness the vast creativity of local artisans. So we appointed 15 regional company “foragers” to seek out the very best local products in each region and bring them into our cafés.
Supporting family-scale producers in every climate zone, through every season of the year, is the first step toward creating an economically and environmentally sustainable food system. Our purchasing efforts help small producers find larger markets and expand their operations, often providing the support they need to start supplying other local restaurants and grocery stores. Supporting healthy, locally produced, great-tasting food pays dividends not only in flavor, but in more local jobs and ultimately, a stronger regional food supply.