Over the last decade and a half, I have written a ton of newsletters. Probably in the neighborhood of 700. But this week something happened to me for the first time ever.
I had my weekly newsletter all done. I had rushed through my proof reading like I usually do. I am sure that there was a grammatical error like their usually is. And just before I was going to print and email it to you all, I read an article.
The article basically laid out how the huge savings that customers could (did) expect from Amazon buying Whole Foods were just a mirage. Amazon isn’t going to be able to waive its magic wand and fix the grocery game. Transportation, ingredients, and packaging costs were starting to eat their proverbial lunch. Only way out? Raise prices.
So why did this article have such an impact on my newsletter this week? In fact it is a pretty benign article. The irony of it was that I had just written about how we have been able to cut our prices and give you better value more than we have been able to do at any point over the course of our journey. And I think that we (finally) may be at the tipping point for the local food movement. Let me break this down a bit.
The ultimate goal for the Local food movement has always been offering something better, healthier, and more sustainable than the industrial agricultural food model. You have heard all of the buzz words for almost 20 years now… Buy Local, Less Food Miles, Support the Local Economy. But then there comes that time of self-reflection when you are looking at yourself in the mirror and question, “Are we really making a difference? Are those buzz words becoming reality or are they just buzz words that people like to dream about?”
I have to be honest that there have been times when the path has gotten a little faded and I have questioned if the Little Engine That Could would actually reach the top of the hill. But this week has reinvigorated me. Sure part of it is our move into a new warehouse. However, it is also seeing that what we have been doing for all of these years is moving the needle. Of course there is no Finish Line in this journey, but things are getting better. And that makes my gray beard smile.
All of the partnerships that we have been cultivating for years are giving us stability in this time of rising food costs. The Local food movement is (more and more) making good Economic sense and not just good Common sense. And this has been the pivot point I have been wanting to see. In order for the Local food wave to really reach its potential, we need what is good for the earth and what is good for our wallets to be in accord with one another. I think we are on the doorstep.
Back to my original newsletter for this week…we have seen supply of Local and Regional healthy food choices explode. This increase in supply, along with short miles to travel, has brought better value to you than we have ever seen. We are now able to offer you more food for fewer pesos than ever. Organic food is seeing more growers and better growing practices. That combination drives prices down and value up. A win-win situation for everyone involved including Mother Nature. We are in the doorway of a major shift of the industry; food free of chemicals has transformed beyond just a fringe food offering. We have to be thrilled about this.
Secondly, and this is huge, we arrived at this place through the will and the want of the people. Think about this, there has been no law passed to make people eat Organically grown food. Every bite of healthy food has been a choice made by a person. It is the reason why they say “Eating is an Agricultural Act.” What we put into our mouths shapes our agricultural industry. We are here today because of decades of conscientious eating in our communities. One bite at a time.
Thinking about all of those years of support for the Organic movement has made me think of how we are still in business today. And it is because of you. We have never had a billboard, no big dollar marketing campaign, shoot we have never even hired a salesperson. We grow and have grown throughout New Mexico strictly on our members spreading the good word of our food and of our mission.
For all of the word of mouth advertising you do for us, we want to thank you by giving you a $20 credit for every Friend Referral who signs up and orders. Plus they will enjoy 15% Off their first order. Thank you for keep us going/growing.
Onward and Upward, Farmer Monte