The farm to table movement redefined what it meant to dine anywhere from rural to urban areas. But what does it really mean? The term “farm to table” refers to locally-sourced ingredients that are often organic or natural. People ate up the concept and it has evolved to a mainstream demand for seasonal, fresh menus sourced from local farms and vendors.
Today the farm-to-table movement has evolved into an entire ethos and business model that extends far beyond the food movement. Companies can look to the small business idea of farm-to-table as inspiration to source sustainable materials from local vendors, farms, and artisans. Here are five non-food industries that applied the farm-to-table ethos to their business model for success.
Outdoor Clothing Business
To help combat their footprint on the earth, an outdoor gear and clothing company aims to reduce the environmental impact of their company and supply chains. In the industry, companies stand against chemically intensive cotton and switched to organically grown options from reputable farms and suppliers. The end result is durable, high-quality outdoor clothing and gear that makes it comfortable to explore the world.
Organic Vitamin Industry
Amway gave their business model a refresh with the inclusion of organic lines. The global vitamin and mineral brand is the only of its kind to harvest and process plants on their own organic certified farms. Their farms are scattered throughout California, Washington State, Mexico, and Brazil and avoid all synthetic pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers. But their organic and sustainable mindset extends beyond the products they make. Amway also prides itself on supporting the local communities near its farms to help provide jobs, school resources, medical care and job training.
Ecommerce Retailer Companies
If you have started selling online, you have stepped into the mainstream as a pioneer in fair trade fashion and online garment retailer. You can strive to create fashionable clothes from environmentally-friendly materials including Fair Trade certified organic cotton and never use modified organisms seeds. In the US and UK, ecommerce retailers also focus on using natural dyes and sourcing traditional handicraft skills when possible. Their diligence in using fair trade practices hasn’t slowed their industry down. In fact, more people embrace their successful approach to online business.
Organic Herbs Industries
A developing industry, there is a wide selection of certified organic herbs, spices, and botanical products available on the market. These businesses do not stock conventionally grown products and instead focus on fabrics that are either organic or cultivated without chemicals or synthetic inputs. To ensure their quality is up to their standards, organic herb companies design all of their products in a quality control lab to ensure their customers receive the organic and natural products their customers are looking for.
Skin Care Businesses
The idea of “farm to skin” came into full force over the last decade with companies introducing lines of 100 percent plant-based products. Some of the best-selling herbal balms, Geranium and Vetiver multi-stick, promotes skin healing, moisture, and protection. But the best part for consumers is its medicinal herbs and organic olive oil rich in vitamins, minerals, and essential fatty acids to protect their skin. The skin care business product lines include organic beeswax, hand-picked plant extracts, and reusable, compostable, and recycle containers and packaging.
Organic Burger Restaurant
Greenhouse gases don’t just come from our cars and factories- cow farms produce enormous amounts of methane gas which is roughly 30 times more potent than carbon dioxide. Restaurants such as Farm Burger look to mitigate this issue by buying beef from organic farms, where cows are given natural space to roam and eat, which results in less methane produced per area. Beef fed a natural grass-fed diet has much more nutritional value than from factory farm beef, which is fed a mostly unnatural corn diet. Factory farms also provide horrible living conditions for cows as well, so sourcing beef from organic farms usually means happy cows with no antibiotics or growth hormones.
Vertical Farming Business
To entrench yourself in the farm-to-table industry, you can create a business model around growing farms indoors. Many farmers are using vertical farming technology to grow food. Using aeroponic systems, smart lighting and significantly less water, you can grow many different plants indoors. The produce can be sold to many food businesses that want fresh, local sourcing. Moreover, if you are able to create multiple locations, you can spread the farm to table movement to different cities quickly.
There are plenty of ways to embrace the concept of locally sourced, organic, and all natural products in your own business model that pays homage to the farm-to-table movement. Start by focusing on the heart and soul of your business and aligning yourself with ingredients, suppliers, and materials that respect the idea of local, organic, and sustainable ethos.