- Express Checkout
- My interview with Henry Arrowood, founder of Farmshare
My interview with Henry Arrowood, founder of Farmshare
Welcome to this new series of interviews with founders, operators, investors, and leaders across CPG/Consumer, supply chain, venture, and other related industries. Every week, in addition to the regular newsletter, I will sit down with some of the best people in the field to ask them questions about their business and themselves!
Tell me about Farmshare, what's your quick pitch?
Farmshare is an online marketplace connecting conscious consumers and responsible producers. We provide a platform where consumers can learn about and purchase products directly from small, regenerative farmers and food producers.
What inspired you to create Farmshare? Was there a specific event or realization that led to its inception?
The inception of Farmshare happened when I moved from SF to a cattle ranch in Wilsall, MT during the pandemic. Living on the ranch, I saw firsthand the inefficiencies of our food supply chain. It struck me that there was a huge opportunity to leverage e-commerce to bring food producers closer to the market.
How do you select the vendors and producers to partner with on Farmshare?
We partner with small regenerative and responsible producers who are already selling direct to consumer and are looking for an additional, convenient channel to connect with customers.
How has the response been from both consumers and producers since Farmshare's launch?
The response from both consumers and producers has been overwhelmingly positive. Farmshare made it to the final round of Sweater Ventures' Barnburner, the largest pitch competition in the US, voted on by thousands of consumers. And our producers feel that we are throwing them a lifeline to participate in the online economy and compete with industrial food producers.
With the rise of e-commerce and online platforms/marketplaces, how do you see Farmshare fitting into the evolving landscape of grocery shopping and the future of food retail?
During the pandemic, online grocery sales grew from 3% to 14% of total grocery sales. This new consumer behavior paired with a growing demand for transparency and connection in food procurement puts Farmshare in a unique position. We provide the modern consumer with the convenience they demand, coupled with a community of responsible producers they can trust.
What is your vision for the future of the platform? How do you see it evolving and making a positive impact on the food industry and consumers' choices?
Farmshare's vision is to create a technology-enabled system that makes responsible and regenerative agriculture economically viable. We aim to challenge industrial, factory farming practices and create a new, sustainable food system. The cascading impacts of this vision are significant, affecting animal welfare, the health of humanity, and the future of our planet.
Can you explain how you ensure transparency around where the food comes from, who produced it, and how it was produced?
Transparency is at the core of Farmshare. Customers get to choose exactly where their food is coming from - which farm, who the farmers are, and how the food is produced. All products are picked up directly from the farm and shipped to the customer's door. There are no middlemen.
As Farmshare continues to grow, what are your plans for fostering a sense of community among its users? Are there any initiatives to encourage interaction and engagement between consumers and producers?
We're using multiple approaches to foster community:
Content creation: We share informative content related to farming, sustainability, etc. We partner with influencers, brand ambassadors, and producers to create behind-the-scenes footage, farm-to-table recipes, meet the farmers series, and more.
User-Generated Content: We encourage our users to share their experiences with Farmshare products on social media.
Community Events: We organize online webinars featuring our producers and thought leaders.
Partnerships: We collaborate with like-minded organizations or influencers to grow our community.
What is something that surprised you since starting this company? Could be about consumer behaviors, the farmers, sourcing, logistics…anything!
The most surprising realization since starting Farmshare was learning that out of the average dollar spent at the grocery store, only 14 cents make its way back into the farmer's pocket. This needs to change.
I'm thrilled to bring the conversations I have offline with endlessly interesting people across the industry to you. Thank you, Henry, for reaching out and telling me more about your company! There is clearly a growing demand for transparency and connection in the food industry, and Farmshare is addressing just that. This business also highlights the benefits of new tools and technologies in creating a more equitable, sustainable, and stronger world. Henry is leveraging advancements in e-commerce to connect small, regenerative farmers with conscious consumers across the nation that otherwise wouldn’t have access to those products.
If you want your story told please email me!
Also…..should I start a podcast 👀