SPIN farmers have always felt a strong sense of mission. It’s become pretty big. And thanks to the pandemic, we’re now part of an even bigger one.
Remember when local foods became a billion dollar industry? We don’t either, but in 2012, six years after the launch of SPIN-Farming’s online learning series, it was a multi-billion dollar one, According to the USDA, by then farmers sold an estimated $6.1 billion in local foods.
If you are having trouble getting your head around that number, here’s an even more mind boggling one. According to the Food Industry Association and NielsenIQ, online sales of food and beverage increased 125% in 2021 to $106 billion.
Not all those billions are in local foods, but some portion is. Once COVID gets under control and pre-pandemic behavior resumes, online sales will decline. But the consensus is that it has become a practice that will be continued by many. So now we are part of another billion dollar industry.
Here’s why we think this is important.
It represents a dramatic change in the composition of the farming industry. As we’ve pointed out over the years, the only thing holding back the reform that sustainable farming advocates have been working so tirelessly to bring about is this – more farmers. More opportunity to sell to more consumers will attract and support them.
It also represents a welcome change in farm economics. Industrial farming economics is: one person leveraging equipment, chemicals and minimum-wage employees to farm 1,000 acres. SPIN-scale economics is 1,000 people farming 1,000 acres that circulates more money and sustains more people. So what these billion dollar numbers look like through SPIN glasses is more cash flowing at the local level.
It also makes it easier to start and build viable businesses. The more farmers who can bring in significant cash, the more who will be able to stay in business, and the bigger and stronger our segment of the farming industry will become.
LEARN HOW TO START AND STAY IN BUSINESS FROM SPIN FARMERS WHO ARE DOING IT IN THE SPIN ONLINE SUPPORT GROUP. FREE TRIAL MEMBERSHIP WITH THE PURCHASE OF ANY SPIN GUIDE HERE.