Near Country Provisions Brings Sustainable Meats to DMV Doorsteps – Food Tank
Near Country Provisions is an organization aiming to ship high-quality, sustainable meats and fish to residents of D.C., Maryland, and Virginia.
The firm sources its merchandise from farmer and fisher companions who’re dedicated to particular, excessive requirements of unpolluted, humane, and regenerative manufacturing.
These requirements embody a hundred percent grass-fed beef, pasture-raised rooster and pork, no use of antibiotics, hormones, or GMOs, elevating animals humanely, and implementing regenerative agricultural methods reminiscent of rotational grazing and chemical elimination.
“We’re not selling commodity meat,” Near Country Provisions’ Founder-CEO, Adam Gerson tells Food Tank. “We’re selling meat with a story.”
For farmers, Near Country Provisions expands the marketplace for regenerative, humanely-raised meats into city and suburban areas. The identical goes for his or her small-scale fishers.
Near Country Provisions launched in March of 2020, simply weeks earlier than the world went into COVID-19 lockdown. Research printed in Socio-Economic Planning Sciences finds that the pandemic uncovered the fragility of the worldwide provide chain, emphasizing the necessity to construct resilient meals methods, and inspired customers to cook dinner extra at house and apply sustainable diets.
Customers can select particular cuts of beef, pork, rooster, and seafood and the frequency at which they wish to obtain orders. Once the order is personalized to the client’s liking, Near Country Provisions delivers to their doorstep freed from cost.
Their enterprise mannequin additionally has environmental advantages. According to the Natural Resources Defense Council, the Earth’s soil has the potential to sequester 250 million metric tons of carbon dioxide-equivalent greenhouse gases (equal to the annual emissions of 63 coal-fired power plants) yearly with the assistance of regenerative agriculture.
“Although regenerative agriculture and eating with a local focus are as old as civilization itself, we need innovation to get them back to their rightful, central place, since the status quo is dominated by modern industrial agribusiness,” Gerson says.
In 2020, 89 p.c of all U.S. farms had been run by small household farms and solely three p.c by large-scale farms, however large-scale farms account for 46 p.c of the worth of manufacturing, in line with the U.S. Department of Agriculture Economic Research Service. At Near Country Provisions, all the companions are small household farms.
The firm builds upon the standard Community-Supported Agriculture (CSA) mannequin, which permits customers to purchase meals instantly from native farms and companies via a membership price, Gerson believes his firm’s mannequin is, “[bringing] technology and modern business practices to old school ways of putting food on the table.”
“CSAs from principled farms have done a great job over the years connecting people in cities and suburbs to the sources of good food, stressing the importance of knowing where your food comes from, and supporting the family farmers who help feed us,” Gerson tells Food Tank.
“But,” he continues, “CSAs, for all their strengths, can be inconvenient for many people who would otherwise love to source from small, local farms.”
These obstacles embody journey required to select up orders, excessive costs for supply, and the lack to handle orders via an internet account. “Near Country Provisions aims to offer a service which takes the great aspects of a CSA, and adds convenience and accessibility.”
Unlike different grocery field firms, together with HelloFresh and Blue Apron, that outsource customer support and supply to chop prices, Near Country Provisions believes maintaining issues private is essential to offering good service.
When a buyer receives a month-to-month order, for instance, they’ll acknowledge their supply individual from previous months, serving to to construct relationships throughout the neighborhood.
In addition to their enterprise mannequin, Near Country Provisions goals to make a optimistic affect in its communities by donating meals to the COVID-19 response initiatives of DC Central Kitchen, a nonprofit combating starvation and poverty via job coaching and job creation.
Near Country Provisions ultimately hopes to increase their work to succeed in extra members of the neighborhood. They will look to associate with extra nonprofits that concentrate on meals entry and training and increase their companies into communities needing larger entry to wholesome, sustainable meats.
“It’s a great moment for the farmers and fishers we work with, and for us,” Gerson tells Food Tank. “Our challenge is just to cut through the noise, cut through the greenwashing that unfortunately exists, and show people that sustainably-produced protein is right nearby, in the ‘near country’ outside the cities and suburbs where so many conscious eaters live.”
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Photo courtesy of Near Country Provisions