Foragers Emerge as Entrepreneurs Helping Small Farmers Connect to Chefs

  By Jan Norris The business of foraging – picking up fresh produce from local farms and delivering it directly to the chefs – is growing as fast as the farm-to-table movement. Rod Smith, co-owner of the foraging company Farms to Chefs in Boynton Beach, says this way of doing business is not really new at all – it’s how farmers and chefs have worked for centuries. “This is old-fashioned, the way we used to do it,” he said. “It’s an old business that’s been reborn – the way it should be.” A new demand for locally grown products has brought back the old model, however. Farms to Chefs is a company that delivers fresh produce and dairy items straight from local farmers to their clients – chefs at clubs, restaurants and institutions. Smith says his was the first company in the area that he knows of to help chefs and local farmers connect directly without a distributor or warehouse in between. Though the foraging business has grown, “there still are not that many of us,” he said. “I just got an email from someone in St. Petersburg wondering if we go over there.” A potential in connections It started back when Smith was a chef, looking around at all the agriculture in the region and wondering why his produce ordered from a distributor was coming from California or...

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