Online Farmers Market?

January 29, 2009 at 3:02 am Leave a comment

Talk about stretching the truth.  Shrewd entrepreneurs are positioning their companies as promoters of local food when their businesses in fact have little if anything to do with local food. Take Foodzie, a new online artisanal food store offering cheese, chocolate, cookies and other food items from around the world.  The company helps small, independent food businesses reach distant markets.  It does not promote local food or local farmers, as its co-founder, Rob LaFave, suggests in this recent blog post. 

“Buyers are really supporting the local economy and small, independent food makers and growers,” he is quoted saying in the New York Times Bits blog.

The entrepreneur also brazenly likens his online gourmet food store to a farmers market.   “You get a similar experience to a farmers market, when you get the opportunity to meet farmers, but it is much more scalable and you get a better selection,” he says of his store.  Later in the post, the real, live farmers market is irreverently referred to as the “offline farmers market.”

<span style=”It’s very twisted, but not entirely LaFave’s fault.  Throughout the post, the writer erroneously characterizes the store as an “online farmers market.”  It’s not.  Having fair trade organic coffee from Brazil, handcrafted cheese from Colorado, and olive oil from Italy all conveniently located in one place on a Web site is not representative of a true farmers market, where all the food is grown locally and buyers talk face-to-face with the farmers selling their goods. It’s just not. 

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Entry filed under: Food Dilemmas, Local Food Production. Tags: , , , , , , .

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