Philly CowShare connects communities of responsible farmers and butchers with urban communities who simply want to eat well.
We challenge the consumer to eat meat more mindfully. Eat healthy meat. Eat less meat. Eat all the cuts from the animals and not just the high-end steaks. Some of the best beef dishes are made with less popular cuts. Using the whole animal reduces waste, simplifies the logistics of getting beef to you, and returns more money to the farmer and butcher. We make sure the farmer and butcher are paid fairly and the animals are raised in accordance with their nature and in harmony with the land.
The conventional industrial operation is designed for maximum throughput and involves many steps:
Our model is designed for simplicity and sustainability;
We’ve designed our CowShare bundles and operations to eliminate excess and uncertainty and create a connection between the farmer and the customer. Most importantly, it costs less and gives Philly CowShare a foundation to support local farms and processors.
In the last 5 years, the backlash against industrial farming practices has shined a spotlight on local family farms that work on a small scale. We’ve celebrated their history, the authentic flavors of their freshly harvested food, and connected to their way of caring for the crops, animals and land. Direct to consumer farm sales have doubled in the last 2 decades to a $1.2 B market (Lancaster Farming Nov. 19, 2011 Issue). Farmers’ markets in the US have increased 17% between 2010 and 2011. This is an indication of how much Americans crave to be closer to their food.
At Philly CowShare, we celebrate the farmers and the connection to our food. We want to eat well. We want the animals to be humanely raised. We want to know where our food dollar went.
In a model where everyone wants to buy directly from the farmer the farmers have to do all of the work. In addition to farming, they have to market their farm, find you, sell you some of their food, and figure out the logistics of getting it from their farm to you, not to mention complying with all the food safety regulations. There are a host of regulations around selling food, particularly meat. If a cattle farmer has to spend 1 hour talking with you about his farm, animal production practices, and beef, it would take him 5 months at 40 hours a week to sell 100 cattle in 40 lbs bundles (roughly 6 months supply of beef). Most farmers will tell you they don’t have an extra 5 months a year to talk to you or enough money to hire someone who does.
We believe in the local food movement. We want you to buy from local farms. But we don’t want our farmers to be forced to do all the work. Philadelphia CowShare can more efficiently market, sell, and deliver their products to you while still keeping you connected to the farm and paying the farmer a fair price. Let’s all celebrate our local farms by simplifying their lives and ours.