Giving Compass' Take:

• Whole Crops and FarmDrop are both founded by Hannah Semler who believes that starting an equitable food system needs to begin with respecting nature. Both of these businesses strive to decrease farm food loss and increase access to food.

• How can farmers market their crops to the public and increase awareness around issues surrounding farm food loss? 

• Read Food Tank's list of farm and agriculture organizations helping to build a better food system. 

Hannah Semler, founder of food system consulting, Whole Crops, and co-founder of online farmers market, FarmDrop, guides her work with a simple message: respect. “An equitable food system has to start with respect for people and respect for nature.” Semler is trying to change the story of food from production to consumption through better integrating collaborative supply chains with “food education, sharing economies, and social impact opportunities” that will lead to no waste and less loss.

“Whole Crops is shifting the story of how food gets to people,” says Semler.

Through Whole Crops, Semler “works with a diverse array of organizations, institutions, and partners who want to address the problem of food insecurity with increased food access and a reduction of on-farm food loss.”

Farmers need an advocate to ensure that they can sell their whole crop to buyers, instead of sorting crops for quality and letting “ugly-looking” crops rot in the field. To do this, Semler is trying “to prove to the farmers and the market that what is left in the field has economic and social value.” She says, “both need to be considered simultaneously along with the ecological footprint of leaving good food in the field. Why on earth aren’t we eating what we grow?”

To advocate for farmers, Semler co-founded FarmDrop, an online farmers market to help producers secure a steady income, grow their businesses, and reduce post-harvest farm loss. With FarmDrop, producers only deliver what they have already sold online, but provide the variety and choice customers are looking for.

Read the full article on the value of food by Alaina Spencer at Food Tank.