Online farmers market set to launch in Alberta

You’ll soon be able to order fresh, locally grown produce and meat and have it delivered right to your front door.

Cultivatr is a new company on a mission to connect farmers across southern Alberta with consumers, while reducing food waste. Customers pre-buy products from local producers and it’s delivered straight to your home in 30 days.

“By doing that, it allows us the opportunity to have the freshest food. It doesn’t sit on a shelf, it doesn’t sit on a truck, it literally goes from the producer to us to you,” said founder and CEO Daniel Berezan.

He came up with the concept when he moved south of Pincher Creek with his wife after living the city life in Calgary for 15 years.

“We just got to know our neighbours and got to understand agriculture. We sort of said there’s a huge disconnect when we were paying so much for food in the city and producers were telling us they couldn’t make a living doing what they’re doing.”,” said Berezan

After meeting with nearby ranchers and farmers, he was inspired to change the way people shop for groceries through something called ‘predictive agriculture.’

“We also want to move to a methodology where we can have it so that producers know exactly what to produce and that’s how they increase their income as well and don’t have the waste on their end,” he says.

The website also features a profile on each producer, giving consumers the power to choose a farm that resonates with them.

So far, five producers across southern Alberta will be part of the website, set to launch on July 1st.

Lorin Doerksen is a fourth-generation rancher at Gemstone Grass Fed Beef in Gem, Alta. about an hour east of Calgary.

He says it’s challenging to find new customers, so Cultivatr is a great option for him.

“Our goal is to raise grass-fed, grass-finished beef and reach as many customers as possible. The Cultivatr platform is really going to help us with that a lot, and in a sustainable way,” said Doerksen. “We’ll be able to plan our supply well in advance with this model, it’s going to help us be more efficient.”

In January 2019, Toronto-based group Second Harvest released findings of a study examining food waste in Canada. It found 58 per cent of all food produced in Canada is lost or wasted.

The study also found waste often begins right at the farm, when surplus milk is flushed or fields are plowed after cancelled orders.

Berezan hopes to combat that type of waste while providing families with healthy, local food options that won’t break the bank.

“The other big thing that we’re trying to do is make it so it’s affordable. Natural and organic groceries have become expensive so we wanted to figure out a way to make it more affordable for people.”

Cultivatr hopes to expand to new markets and farms as the company grows.