CONCERN ABOUT OUR FOOD SOURCES has increasingly been a critical issue of the 21st century.

We know that enormous agricultural enterprises can be highly efficient, but tend to eliminate healthy diversity in what we eat.  And we worry about the environmental cost of transporting our food all over the globe.

I was fascinated, then, to talk with Michele Ostrander, the owner and CEO of RevoGrow.  It’s a company dedicated to connecting restaurants, stores and consumers with local growers.

Check out this video about how they fit into food distribution:

As you see, it’s actually a simple concept.  But it’s in a complicated and highly regulated industry.

That’s why it’s important for the RevoGrow team to stay focused on their mission.  It comes down to social impact (reducing health risks, supporting small farmers, facilitating community interaction) and environmental sustainability (reducing CO2 of transportation, regeneration of soils, and requiring fewer chemicals).

Everything else supports this mission, including the idea that they’re introducing a dramatically increased level of transparency.  Consumers and restaurateurs will be able to see where their food comes from, what’s been added along the way, and the true societal impact of their choices.

This obviously connects up with the movement to organics, but it’s not limited to that.  Organic foods really just highlight the deep desire for healthy, local, sustainable food production.

I talked with Michele about the challenges they’re focused on, especially since their company is still in its launch phase.

Not surprisingly, they’ve received tremendous feedback from users about their marketplace platform, and are in the process of re-launching it with a whole range of new features.

She’s also been thinking through the challenges of rapid business growth. Their marketplace model works best with balanced supply and demand, so they’re working hard to maintain this balance as they plan for expansion to new areas.

I also wanted to point out that this is the first registered Benefit Corporation that I’d written about here.  That’s an incredibly powerful statement which attests to their commitment to this mission.

It really does change the way they think about this business.  Every day.

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