March 7, 2018 • Andrea MBW
Farmspread partners with Certified Naturally Grown to Integrate Promotion of CNG Vendors
Farmspread (farmspread.com), a comprehensive farmers market management platform, and Certified Naturally Grown (CNG) (cngfarming.org) are pleased to announce that farmers will now be able to feature their Certified Naturally Grown status on their Farmspread Vendor profile page, publicizing to consumers and market managers their verified commitment to not use synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, or GMOs. Each farm’s claim to hold CNG certification is reviewed by Certified Naturally Grown to prevent misuse of the label and maintain its integrity. CNG labelling for vendors is the newest addition to Farmspread’s well-rounded feature set.
Farmspread was created to promote direct sales of farm fresh food and artisan products while supporting the expansion of alternative food distribution channels such as farmers markets. Farmspread’s mission is firmly rooted in the ideals of availability, transparency and traceability. Knowing producer claims have been verified gives the consumer confidence in what they are buying. Since CNG offers certification tailored to farms producing food for their local and regional communities, recognizing and promoting the Certified Naturally Grown label falls right in line with Farmspread’s mission. "We are excited to be partnering with Certified Naturally Grown, for their ability to verify claims about farming practices and help shoppers reliably identify which farmers produce food without the use of synthetic chemicals or GMOs" said Daniel Westervelt, co-founder of Farmspread.
The Farmspread platform serves both farmers markets and vendors equally. It is designed to be a full service market vendor management tool as well as a social media style marketing hub. For market managers, Farmspread offers self-configurable online vendor applications, a completely integrated billing system, messaging, and variety of website widgets to help integrate the market’s website. It helps market managers identify the vendors needed to create a balanced market that attracts customers.
“Farmspread seamlessly connects the essential players in the local food movement -- farmers, food artisans, market managers, and most especially customers, whether individual shoppers or regional distributors” said Alice Varon, Executive Director of Certified Naturally Grown. “This new platform offers powerful online communications and management tools that are key to establishing thriving local and regional food systems.”
For farmers, maintaining a vendor profile on Farmspread is free - and there are multiple benefits. With Farmspread’s advanced SEO, vendors get noticed by markets and consumers searching for local, regional, or even national products. Farmspread also enables vendors to find and apply to markets looking for vendors with their particular products or certifications. In Spring of 2018, Farmspread will give participating vendors the option to offer online sales. This feature includes online reservations for pick-up at markets as well as direct farm-to-customer sales. It's a great way to facilitate connections with bulk buyers like local restaurants and distributors.
Farmers are encouraged to take advantage of the option to promote their CNG certification on the platform. Producers not yet CNG certified can get started on the certification process by submitting an application online. The entire process typically takes two months or less. Many farmers are drawn to the organization because of CNG’s marketing benefits, as well as its peer-review approach to certification, and the opportunities it generates for learning and connecting with other like-minded producers. CNG’s affordability and modest paperwork requirements are also a draw.
To encourage early spring applications, CNG is offering a $25 gift card for those who apply by April 15, redeemable on anything in the CNG store upon certification. Apply online at http://CNGfarming.org/get_certified. CNG has recently begun working to promote the farmers markets where vendors with CNG certification are explicitly recognized or preferred. They are listed in CNG's markets directory, and will be offered complimentary signage for use at the market upon listing. This new partnership between Farmspread and Certified Naturally Grown is intended to support greater economic success for farmers and markets alike.