Farming & Foodservice

Family farms are disappearing, even as restaurants look to source better ingredients. Can agriculture and foodservice help save each other?

In the last five years, food-sourcing issues like traceability, sustainability, and quality have moved from the periphery of foodservice operations to the white-hot center. Fast-food titans like McDonald’s have pledged to source better ingredients, while emerging fast casuals have grown around the mission to serve fresh, and often local, fare.

Consumers are more educated about what they eat, and their involvement is apparent in how restaurants build their menus and market their concepts. Less visible to the average consumer, however, is the agriculture side of the relationship between foodservice and food producers.

For better or worse, their fates are intertwined: Both are faced with mounting costs, food safety concerns, and higher demands on the quality of their food. But while young entrepreneurs and venture capitalists are flocking to restaurants, other Millennials are leaving their multi-generational farms in favor of greener pastures with more economic certainty. – read more –