Part of the Food Policy Community Spotlight Series
What they do: OurHarvest is a NY-based online farmers’ market and grocery delivery service that connects you to fresh, local food, sourced directly fromsmall family farmers and food artisans. They offer a wide selection of: farm-fresh seasonal produce; premium grass-fed meats; pasture-raised poultry and dairy; never-frozen, sustainably-caught fish; and, clean-label pantry staples. Their food is meticulously sourced from over 150 regional farmers, food purveyors and suppliers who uphold the highest quality standards and adhere to the most responsible growing practices.
By working directly with small family farmers and artisanal purveyors, OurHarvest has created a system that is a win for farmers, consumers, and the community alike. Food typically arrives on supermarket shelves or in large, online grocers’ warehouses after weeks of traveling long distances, and was grown for its ability to do so. It is also less nutritious, as the longer an item sits on the shelf, it loses its nutritional value. With them, your groceries are delivered from the farm straight to you, sometimes just hours after harvest, and you can taste the difference.
Moreover, farmers only receive a fraction of the retail price for their product when selling to conventional stores. OurHarvest enables farmers to sell their products directly to consumers, giving them a fair price for their products while passing cost savings onto the customers – all by omitting the middleman! They also carry many heirloom varieties that you cannot find anywhere else, providing customers with increased options for more unique and fresh options. And – to support their local communities – for every order over $25, OurHarvest donates a meal to a food bank/pantry in the area to help combat hunger. To date they have donated well over 10,000 meals!
In short, they bring the farmers’ market to you – increasing access to fresher, better tasting, and more nutritious products at a fair price to everyone involved.
How they do it: The OurHarvest model disrupts the current, conventional food retail system, where food travels long distances and sits on a shelf or in a warehouse until it is eventually sold. When shopping at OurHarvest, consumers go to www.ourharvest.com and select the area, market location, and the next available date and time in which they will receive their order. (OurHarvest offers door to door delivery in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens and also offers convenient community pick up locations throughout Nassau and Suffolk County on Long Island.) Shoppers then choose from a selection of more than 725 products, all of which include the name and description of the small family farm or artisanal producer where it originated. Orders are placed the same way as with any online retailer; however, unlike any other online food retailer, once an order is placed, the OH team then travels to the local farms to source the ordered items, which customers receive sometimes only hours after it was harvested. This sourcing model enables them to [actually] serve truly farm fresh fare at a price point that is fair to everyone along the supply chain.
Mission: OurHarvest was founded on the premise that the fresher your food is, the more delicious and nutritious it will be. They are a small but growing start up on a mission to further connect people to where their food comes from and inspire them to cook and enjoy local, fresh food together, in turn strengthening the regional food shed and economy. They believe that real change happens at the local, grassroots level and scales from there. It is in this way that they plan on totally upending our food system for the better.
Latest project/campaign: OurHarvest is launching a Brand Ambassador program, seeking dedicated individuals committed to eating locally sourced, sustainably produced, fresh food to help increase their footprint throughout the NYC area. Interested? Email [email protected] to learn more.
Major Funding: Self-funded
Annual Budget: N/A
Interesting fact about how they are working to positively affect the food system: The OurHarvest model strengthens regional food systems and the surrounding economies by sourcing almost 100% of their product portfolio from small family farmers and artisanal food producers operating within 250 miles. By providing an additional, reliable distribution channel for these producers, they increase access to and demand for sustainably produced, responsibly-raised and clean label products. Consumers also benefit by having access to fresh, healthy farmers’ market fare year round, with the added convenience of having these items delivered. With OurHarvest, their farmers earn substantially more than they do selling to a conventional grocery store like Whole Foods. Paying growers a fair price that reflects the cost of production helps ensure they can continue to operate and do what they love.
Location: Hicksville, Long Island
Core Programs: N/A
Number of staff:Between 10 – 20
Number of volunteers: 0
CEO/Founder: Michael Winik
Photo credit: OurHarvest