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Sustainability Partnership | Helping Underserved Farmers Go Organic

Sustainability Partnership | Helping Underserved Farmers Go Organic

Daily Harvest is kicking off a partnership with nonprofits American Farmland Trust (AFT), and California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF) to help historically underserved farmers adopt organic + regenerative farming practices. Here’s what you should know.

Who are historically underserved farmers?

Simply put, historically underserved farmers haven’t had the same advantages as many of their peers — often because of their race or gender. About 95% of American farmers are white and the “average” California farmer is a white male in his sixties.

Systemic barriers have prevented many groups from accessing the same capital (like loans), land, and technical resources as their peers… making it harder for them to build successful farm businesses, adopt climate-smart agricultural practices, and tap into markets like ours at Daily Harvest.

Systemic disadvantages are especially common among those who identify as Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC), AAPI, Latino, women, and/or LGBTQ+, as well as new, young, and small-scale farmers.

These are the communities we want to support.

The food system is failing us

For decades, our food system has prioritized high yields and low costs over the wellbeing of farmers, consumers, and the planet. Conventional farming (which uses synthetic chemicals to fight weeds, pests, and disease) is still the norm. But while it might be less costly for farmers in the short term, conventional practices don’t serve them or the planet in the long run.

It’s making people sick: Farmworkers and farming communities are exposed to conventional chemicals through the air, water and soil – putting both at risk of cancer and respiratory, reproductive, and neurological problems.

Synthetic chemicals also make their way into our food. More than 90 percent of Americans have synthetic pesticides in their bodies, which can cause hormone disruptions in adults and neurological problems in kids.

And it’s damaging the planet: Conventional chemicals strip nutrients from the soil – and depleted soil needs more water, energy, and fertilizer (essentially: more resources, emissions, and chemicals) to grow food. These synthetic chemicals also seep into nearby water and kill the insects and pollinators that help crops grow.

Sustainable is the only way forward

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Protecting humans: Organic food is produced and processed without harmful chemicals, so it’s safe for the farmers + workers who handle food and the consumers who eat it. Added bonus: organic produce has more vitamins, minerals, and nutrients than conventional.

Restoring the earth: Organic + regenerative agriculture is undeniably better for the planet. Healthy soil absorbs carbon dioxide (a greenhouse gas) out of the atmosphere. In fact, organic and regeneratively-managed soil is capable of sucking up 100% of the world’s carbon emissions… and actually reversing the effects of climate change.

Organic farmland may use up to 45 percent less energy. And, because it’s stronger, organic soil helps stop erosion and runoff.

TLDR: Organic farming keeps the whole ecosystem healthy: from worms and bees to plants, trees, and people!

But, there’s a catch

The bad news: today, less than 1% of U.S. farmland is organic. That’s because it’s expensive, challenging, and risky for farmers to transition from conventional.

The transition takes three years in total. During that time, farmers have to invest in new equipment, seeds, and storage. Not to mention, they might face lower yields at first, while their land readjusts. The worst part: they’re still paid conventional prices for their crops during the transition period, even though they’re already using organic practices.

There’s also a learning curve – farming with nature (vs. with chemicals) is a science that takes time to master, and not every farmer has access to the resources they need to be successful. The transition can be especially difficult for farmers in historically underserved communities.

Enter: Daily Harvest, AFT + CCOF

We want to help! That’s why Daily Harvest, AFT, and CCOF kicked off a multi-year partnership to provide historically underserved California farmers with all of the resources and support they need to build successful, organic + regenerative farms.

By bringing together AFT + CCOF, we will offer farmers:

  • Technical resources: tailgates, workshops, educational fairs, one-on-one advice, and mentorships to meet farmers where they are.

  • Financial assistance: grants up to $10,000 to help farmers transition their land to organic production.

  • Market access: opportunities to join Daily Harvest’s supply chain with premium price guarantees.

The long game


By creating economic opportunities for historically underserved farmers and supporting their transition to organic + regenerative agriculture, our partnership with American Farmland Trust + California Certified Organic Farmers will advance a truly regenerative food system: one that takes care of how we grow food and the people who grow it.

We’re thinking big – because we believe that responsibly-grown fruits + vegetables have the power to uplift farmers, heal people, and restore the planet at the same time.

Daily Harvest is built on real, unrefined fruits and vegetables. Learn more and find food made with responsibly-grown ingredients today at daily-harvest.com.

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