Giving Compass' Take:

• Food Tank highlights MilkRun, a Portland, Oregon-based company is supporting small, local farmers by enabling them to sell produce safely and directly to consumers’ homes.

• Where are there opportunities for donors to support or strengthen these initiatives? How are local farmers selling their produce in your area?

• Learn more about impact investing in small farmer's needs and finances. 

Founded by farmer and entrepreneur Julia Niiro, MilkRun is an online platform that lets farmers set their own prices cutting out as wholesalers, shippers, and truckers. Once consumers place an order through MilkRun, farmers deliver produce to an aggregation hub, which MilkRun then boxes and ships to consumers’ doorsteps.

On average, farmers receive eight percent of the purchase price from grocery stores according to The American Farm Bureau Federation. But MilkRun estimates a return of up to 70 percent of the purchase price through their platform.

The platform is also trying to provide data on consumer purchasing patterns, purchase quantities, and food mileage, information that is often difficult for small farmers to obtain.

“Ninety percent of our nation’s farms right now don’t have even simple tools…they are having to recreate every data point… how can we help them do their jobs better?” Niiro tells Food Tank.

Niiro believes that the future of farming is bright, and she hopes to help farmers achieve success. “For young farmers, they need to know there’s hope…you should be able to make a living and realize your dreams,” Niiro tells Food Tank “Who are we going to leave our food system to if not them?”.

Read the full article about MilkRun by Sean Taylor at Food Tank.