Friends with Farms Agricultural Cooperative helps both new and seasoned farmers to build or expand their farm businesses. We’re farmers just like you so we know all the challenges you face: finding suitable land, planning your crop, and growing your crop…not to mention selling and delivering what you harvest.
Friends with Farms provides our members with support services—at or below cost—to help them succeed and to ensure that they receive a fair and equitable return for their efforts. As a member, you can:
- Access new markets: gain access to new markets without having to do any selling yourself. We currently sell at farmers’ markets and have received a $249,000 grant from the USDA to launch a Community Supported Agriculture direct-to-consumer online sales platform in 2017.
- Save time: since we do all the sales and marketing for you, you save time. In the case of farmers’ markets, you’ll gain approximately four days per month extra time to do with as you please. You may also gain time by getting tips and other useful information from the other members and by sharing resources.
- Share resources: there’s no need for you to invest in a booth at the farmers’ markets. We also informally share equipment and will establish a shared storage and distribution network throughout O’ahu in 2017.
- Improve profitability: we are putting in place mechanisms—such as collaborative crop planning—that will allow our members to gain many of the benefits of a single large farm, while retaining their independence. Collaboration on production between multiple farms, for example, will help members to reduce over-production and pinpoint their sales.
- Be part of a community: farming can be a lonely profession. By joining us, you’ll immediately be able to exchange know-how with other farmers and find solutions to your most pressing problems. You may even find lifelong friends.
- Stay independent: the cooperative is run democratically. As a part owner, you get an equal say in all major decisions. Elections for our board of directors are held every year.
How does it work?
The cooperative maintains a percentage of the net sales of products sold through the cooperative at farmer’s markets, through post market sales or via the CSA.
The cost sharing percentage goes towards shared operational costs and infrastructure, so your money is still effectively working for you. Net profits are either re-invested in co-op growth or distributed to members
How do I join?
To become a member, all you need to do is meet certain basic requirements and to purchase one share in the cooperative. There is no annual membership fee or any other cost.
We invite you to attend one of our upcoming member recruitment meetings. Sign-up to find out more.