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Farmers do their best to provide top seasonal produce throughout as much of the year as possible, but farming takes work, and you can’t spend all of your time at your time manning a farmers market booth. So customers who need a tomato or a pepper for a last-minute recipe are out of luck.
Tony Lee, founder of Fresh Nation, managed a farmers market in his hometown and saw this problem.
“The thing that I learned was that oftentimes the vendors weren’t making enough money to keep going,” Lee told Los Angeles Times. “I became very friendly with a lot of them and I grew to appreciate how passionate they were about their business. They are amazing people. But because farmers markets are only open for a few hours a week, there wasn’t enough time for people who want fresh local food to get it. Making fresh local food more available to more people on the one hand and on the other bringing more business to these small farmers and food producers—that’s our mission. We want to get millions of people eating fresh local food and having access to it every day.”
Lee told L.A. Times that to start Fresh Nation he compiled a large list of farmers market vendors nationwide. He then organized the list so that a supply chain was formed that made sense. Fresh Nation tested the procedure in both southern California and the East Coast before contacting Amazon, a company known for its wide array of products sold online, but also for its grocery delivery service (Amazon Fresh).
“We created our partnership with Amazon because Amazon already brings fresh foods to millions of people,” Lee said, according to L.A. Times. “So far Amazon has been unbelievably supportive of our efforts to bring fresh local foods to their customers. It seemed to us to be a win-win to form this partnership with them.”
The purchase options will be varied and are likely to cost slightly more than what you’d pay at your local farmers market; orders over $50, however, will not have a delivery fee. The products are chosen by local food shoppers from Fresh Nation. They attend various farmers markets almost daily to provide the freshest products to customers. According to the Fresh Nation site, their personal food shoppers are said to be “pickier than you are.”
Lee told L.A. Times that Fresh Nation isn’t looking to take sales away from local vendors, only benefit them with extra sales and a bigger market.
For more information or to make a purchase, visit the Farmers Market Direct program on Amazon.