By Clint Thompson
The Florida Fruit and Vegetable Association (FFVA) wants to help farmers sell their crops while provide consumers with options on where to buy fresh, local produce. In doing so, consumers will support an industry that’s been decimated amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Farmers and farming operations are asked to email firstname.lastname@example.org as soon as possible with the following information: Company name; address of sales location; phone number; facebook page; twitter; produce available for sale and sales hour.
The FFVA will share on social media and on its website.
“We’ve been hearing about different growers in south Florida who, for lack of any other options, have begun boxing up their produce and making it available directly to consumers who can just drive up and purchase it,” said Lisa Lochridge, director of the association’s Public Affairs Division. “We kept hearing about different farms doing this and decided to try to gather that information as best we could, put it on our website and also share those opportunities on social media so people who are following us on social media would know that there’s a grower in their area where they can go and get fresh local produce.”
Florida growers are forced to sell directly to the public to move their produce, as restaurants are closed nationwide. This is a great way to support local farmers who are struggling to sell their usual quantity of fresh fruits and vegetables.
“It’s certainly not the way they would like to be distributing their product but given the fact that the food service part of the supply chain has literally shut down, this is a good option for growers. It drives home the importance of local produce,” Lochridge said. “I think it also makes it more top of mind for consumers to know that there’s fresh, local, nutritious produce available to them. Hopefully, when all of this is over and people are back in the grocery store and produce aisles, they will look for Florida produce.”