From Farm to Plate: tips to increase profitability on your farm or ranch
Improve your competitiveness and bottom-line by eliminating middlemen, regain consumer confidence, promote the activity of farmer or rancher, publicise the quality of your premium products for (virtually) free, care about the environment by preventing your products from traveling long distances, create transparency by bringing evidence of livestock welfare on your farm or ranch… These are just some of the advantages of the “farm-to-plate” movement.
Brent Currie, Hustler Equipment’s CEO, shares with us today a second video episode (if you haven’t seen the first one, check it out here) in which he analyses this “farm-to-plate” growing trend, presents some existing initiatives around the world and gives some tips on how to join the movement.
Food systems cannot be resilient to crises such as the Covid-19 pandemic if they are not sustainable. The farm-to-table movement is part of many innovative ideas that are redesigning our food system in order to bring new opportunities for operators in the food value chain, in particular for primary producers, livestock farmers and ranchers.
What is the “farm-to-plate” movement?
The “farm-to-table” (or “farm-to-fork” or “farm-to-plate”) is a recent trend that promotes buying local food or serving local food at restaurants and school cafeterias, through direct acquisition from the producer (direct sales relationship, a community-supported agriculture arrangement, a farmer’s market, a local distributor…). The farm-to-table movement has arisen more or less concurrently with changes in attitudes about food safety, food freshness, food seasonality, and small-farm economics.
For Brent Currie, the equation is simple:
“The consumers are ready to pay a premium price by buying directly from your farm, particularly if they can see the sustainable way that you are producing your livestock or your dairy.”
“There are fewer companies taking a bite of your cherry and your hard work by raising your cattle in a sustainable manner on your farm.”
“This helps farmers to embrace the “farm-to-plate” trend to rip greater profits on their bottom line.”
Success-stories around the world
- White Oak Pastures (Georgia, USA)
Will Harris and his business partners and teams farm in a regenerative manner using humane animal management practices. They operate a vertically integrated, zero-waste model, started in 1995, when they transitioned away from industrial agriculture techniques and began operating the farm as a living ecosystem. White Oak Pastures is also one of the only farms in the United States that have both red meat and poultry abattoirs on the farm.
Check out more on our FeedGrassForGood blog
- Uplands Cheese (Wisconsin, USA)
Uplands Cheese Company is owned and operated by two families who bought this farm together in order to join their small herds and manage them in a seasonal, pasture-based system. Their farm’s layout and the location are ideal for growing the diverse range of grasses, legumes and herbs that give us such high-quality milk.
Check out more on our Out There in Hustler Country blog
- Origin Earth (Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand)
Origin Earth is a boutique dairy company that craft their products from single farm origin milk and the cow’s milk is sourced from Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand farmers who farm within an hour of the factory. Milk from different farms or even from different milking sessions is never mixed, making all their products completely traceable back to the farm, the paddock and the animals from which the milk comes. Once at the factory, milk is immediately crafted into cheese, pot set yogurt or fresh milk, to ensure it retains all the goodness and taste that farm staff, animals and soil biology, worked so hard to achieve.
Want to join the “farm-to-plate” movement?
We have written quite a few articles on our FeedGrassForGood blog in the past months, you can check out them following the links below:
- Farm-to-consumer trading the sustainable farming future 2020 and beyond
- Farmers on YouTube reconnect with consumers
- Agri-tourism: why you should open the gates of your farm
Also, make sure to register yourself on “farm-to-plate” online directories. For example, “Pasture for Life” in the United Kingdom offers certification to farmers who meet their standards. Search out directories in your country or your district, more and more consumers are looking for information online.
Do you know “farm-to-plate” operations? Please let us know, we would love to connect with them and share the story of their journey in adopting sustainable farming practices.