Sun, Dec 29, 2013 - Page 14 News List

US tech startups construct virtual farmers’ markets

By Terence Chea  /  AP, SAN FRANCISCO

Good Eggs currently sells food from about 400 local producers that meet the company’s standards for environmental sustainability, workplace conditions and transparent sourcing of ingredients. Produce is usually picked one or two days before it is delivered.

The startup is helping farmers such as Ryan Casey, who runs a small organic farm that grows more than 50 types of fruits, vegetables and flowers. His Blue House Farm in Pescadero, about 72km south of San Francisco, mainly sells its produce at farmers’ markets and through community agriculture programs, but Good Eggs makes up a growing share of its business.

Good Eggs has attracted enthusiastic foodies like Shelley Mainzer, who does nearly all her grocery shopping on the Web site and often e-mails producers with questions and comments.

After her weekly order arrived at her downtown San Francisco office, she pulled out organic cauliflower and Romanesco broccoli she bought from Blue House Farm.

“I can’t eat store-bought food anymore because it just doesn’t taste the same,” said Mainzer, who works as an executive assistant at a small investment bank. “You basically remember what things are supposed to taste like when you eat these fresh vegetables and fruits.”

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