Kristin’s farm-to-consumer model fills in food supply gaps at a critical time
The direct-to-consumer food market is in constant motion, but during this unprecedented COVID-period, staying on top of the ball requires the nimbleness of a circus acrobat.
Kristin’s Farm Stand, is a full vertically integrated farm that grows, raises, harvests, packs and then delivers local, regeneratively raised pastured proteins and soil-grown veggies directly to our customers’ homes. Since 2018, our goal has been to operate under a level of trust and transparency that’s missing in much of today’s food supply chain by directly supplying nutritionally dense, healthy and safe foods.
We have seen a steady increase in our business since its founding as more consumers make the connection between food and their health. This increased significantly with COVID as more people started utilizing grocery deliveries. When the news dropped that many large commercial meat processors would be closing, growth jumped even further. Since then, there have been orders for the processors to remain open, and then next, the buzz of a potential union strike.
We’re poised to handle this upheaval as we only work with locally operated small-town meat processors. With the recent toilet paper hoarding fiasco still fresh in many American’s minds, however, even the mere suggestion of another possible shortage (this time food-related) causes immediate consumer anxiety and stockpiling.
Our staff had to start fielding many phone calls regarding this issue and pivot to plan for more protein packing and no-contact door-to-door deliveries that greatly extends the workload.
Our sanitization protocol has to be on point at all times, with GAP (Good Agricultural Practices) certification verifying that our products are packed, handled and stored safely. Additionally, we implemented additional new COVID delivery protocols, including mask wearing for our drivers, hand sanitization between every stop and more.
Communicating all of this to our customers was a public relations dance designed to be equally assuring and empathetic without raising anxiety levels.
As a small but growing business, we’re in a unique position to be able to help fill in the food supply gaps where the large commercial chain shows instability. We’re able to move quickly and take swift action while the COVID fulcrum is in constant motion. We aim to be the consistent source our customers can rely on for local, safe and healthy foods both now and after our economy settles back into a new normal.
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: How can consumer-direct brands and retailers stay lithe and nimble during the COVID-period? What supply chain and other practices developed in response to the challenge do you think will prove helpful once the virus is under better control?