Posts Tagged ‘organic produce’

What Does Local Marketing for Restaurants Mean to Your Business?

November 28, 2011

There’s no doubt that if you’re in the restaurant industry, you have encountered the drive back to local marketing for restaurants. It could be anything as simple as buying your tomatoes from the farmer down the road to something as big as the recent Occupy Wall Street’s movement to funnel money back to small businesses and communities. The trend of voting with the dollar is the easiest way for the average consumer to have a voice in the economy.

Supporting the Local Market

We’ve seen the grassroots movements start way before any of the “Occupy” business started. Did you know that 93% of people surveyed by American Express’s OPEN survey reported feeling that it was important to support local small businesses and put money back into the community?

When restaurants started to buck the major food suppliers for local farm fresh and organic produce, meat and eggs, they were able to offer healthier and more flavorful products…AND put money back into the local community. It’s also another way patrons can give back to the local community by honoring these small businesses with their loyalty.

How to Support the Local Market

Without a doubt independent, local businesses have the upper hand here, but how can larger restaurants support the local community that they reside in? Sometimes, local is more of an attitude or awareness than a business address or zip code. Here are some of the more popular ways that businesses of any size can get involved:

  • Sponsor local sports teams in the area.
  • Donate food or services for local school events.
  • Ask your supplier if they are using local farmers.
  • If you can make an executive decision on your suppliers, switch to local suppliers that are closer to your community.
  • Offer seasonal specials on the menu of foods that are abundant in your geographical region at that time.

The push toward keeping the money in the community is still in the early stages. Get creative and come up with some things that support your local community. You’ll feel good about it and so will your customers.

Monsanto Sued Preemptively Over Genetically Engineered Seeds

April 27, 2011

A little known side of the food industry involves a giant company, Monsanto, and genetically modified soy, corn and other products. In essence, what Monsanto has done is to create pest-resistant genetically modified seeds for farmers to grow vegetables without the need to worry about insects infesting their crops, thus costing them money.

There’s just one wrinkle in the plan, well two really. The primary issue is that seeds are part of nature and they tend to blow around and get mixed up with other seeds. However, when those seeds happen to be genetically modified, patented seeds, the seeds then make corn and other products grown by farmers who don’t buy Monsanto seeds as a matter of course, patent infringers. Monsanto has been quite aggressive about pursuing their intellectual rights, suing farmers who accidentally used their patented seeds.

The other issue, which is actually not as important for the purposes of this story, though it’s still important in general, is that the spread of Monsanto’s seeds means that older, organic seeds are starting to go extinct since they are simply not getting used anymore. This is actually one of the many reasons that a seed repository has been established to protect seeds so that they won’t go completely extinct.

Now, however, a group of organic farmers is in the process of striking back, suing Monsanto in a pre-emptive strike to get them to guarantee that if their seeds are accidentally crossed with Monsanto’s they will be immune from prosecution. This is important as hundreds of farmers have been sued successfully by the company, many of them losing their life savings to their demands. The lawsuit is being pursued with the help of a non-profit organization, The Public Patent Foundation. The organization has promised to try to protect the rights of the farmers in question while getting Monsanto to back down.