WNY farms trying to stay ahead of changing shopping trends

Posted at 11:26 PM, Apr 11, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-11 23:32:03-04

Providing food is what Native Offerings does.

“Three times a week we're on the road,” said Stewart Ritchie, he and his wife own the organic farm in Otto. 

They use a business model known as CSA or Community Supported Agriculture. Their customers pay them up front. They grow they produce. Then they drive them to certain cities and towns for pickups, mainly around Buffalo. Ritchie and his wife have been doing this for 21 years.

“You can talk to the farmer, you know where the food comes from. When you buy produce directly from a farm you are hiring people in your community,” said Ritchie.

With more and more people buying groceries online, Ritchie says there is always a need to diversify and innovate to stay ahead of the game. 

One farm in Pennsylvania is offering door to door service for their fresh produce.

Right now, that's not in the cards for Native Offerings. But, with changes in their industry, Ritchie worries more for the consumer, rather than his business.   

“I'm afraid that as Amazon comes into and starts doing home deliveries, consumers might not have a choice on where that produce is sourced from,” said Ritchie.

Just last week a customer of his bought organic spinach from a grocery store, not realizing it was imported from China.

“You purchase the future you want to live in. So, if you want a lot of local farms, you buy from local farms,” added Ritchie.

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