Town Haul Podcast | Episode 6
- Host: Amy Koonin (Rubicon)
- Guest: Sarah Sanders (Co-Founder, Bon Harvest)
Eating local can have a big positive impact on the environment–but the actual process of getting local produce to restaurants and serving it to consumers can be challenging. That’s where Bon Harvest comes in. Bon Harvest is a B2B marketplace that connects farmers and wholesale buyers like restaurants. They help ensure the food that’s produced locally is actually consumed locally.
The Town Haul’s Host Amy Koonin chatted with Bon Harvest’s COO & Co-Founder Sarah Sanders about food waste, ugly produce, and how Bon Harvest is forging new connections between farmers and businesses.
On how Bon Harvest helps eliminate food waste:
SANDERS: “Right now 40% of food that’s produced in this country ends up wasted and a lot of it has to do with aesthetics. We’re finding a home for all of this produce, for this platform particularly in the restaurant space right now. We will expand out of that space eventually. But chefs love to be creative, love to work with the best ingredients and this gives them an opportunity to work with food at reduced costs and a place where they typically don’t find margin.
They’re working with big companies on big contracts and the price isn’t expected to fluctuate or do anything but go up over time. Bon Harvest has given them an opportunity to work with a different type of food and prepare it and make incredible dishes.”
On the importance of urban farming right now:
SANDERS: “People care a lot more now about where their food is coming from. The local food movement is increasing very very quickly. Not only in New York but all across the United States and the population is also rapidly rising. By 2050, there’s going to be 2 billion more people to feed. How do we do that when people are moving closer and closer to the heart of cities? You have problems like traffic and you know you can do that.
We also mitigate seasonality too. You can grow these crops year-round. It doesn’t make a difference what the weather is outside you’re growing indoors, whether it’s in a container or a big warehouse.”
On how Bon Harvest’s mission helps farmers and consumers alike:
SANDERS: “Certain types of lettuce travel 1,800 miles on average before you consume them. That’s absurd and you know we’re really localizing our foods. Make it really really easy for people to build a profile, buy, sell. We coordinate the logistics for you. So that way farmers spend more time doing what they do best and not having to worry about ‘how do I get my crops into the city’ and with all this traffic. That’s our job and we make it as easy as possible.
We have more and more people to feed and this is a more efficient way to do it. This is an opportunity to mitigate waste through harvests and same-day consumption. That’s really powerful.”