The Common Market Georgia is actively working on various projects to connect the community to good food.
The Common Market is a mission-driven food distributor working to create a robust, resilient and regionally-based food system. The Common Market connects communities to good food from sustainable family farms to improve food security, farm viability and community and ecological health.
Since 2008, The Common Market has distributed over $14 million of local foods from over 100 sustainable farms and producers to communities and institutions across the Mid-Atlantic and Georgia to build dynamic, regional food systems. They do this by providing infrastructure, along with technical and marketing assistance, to bring sustainable, local farm products to the institutions and the communities they serve.
The Common Market is guided by five core values that lead their work:
- Community: Collaboration across an interdependent food system can build a collective power.
- Diversity: Environments thrive with greater cultural and biological diversity.
- Local Investment: Regional economies can promote equitable health and well-being in urban and rural communities.
- Stewardship: Agriculture can be restorative to the environment. Developing markets for food grown with integrity and respect can transform growing practices and heal communities.
- Transparency: From seed to table, building trusting relationships ensure food safety, foster accountability and maintain traceability.
Currently in Georgia, the organization serves the entire Atlanta metropolitan area, while targeting low-income communities where access to healthy food is scarce, and diet-related diseases are prevalent. The goal is to improve the health and well-being of all communities. The Common Market believes that everyone deserves access to fresh, local, delicious food, and all farmers deserve to be paid fairly.
The Common Market Georgia is actively working on various projects to connect the community to good food. Customers of The Common Market include colleges & universities, community organizations, corporate cafeterias, early childcare, elder care facilities, hospitals, private schools, public schools, restaurants and retailers.
“Common Market has enabled us to easily meet our farm-to-table sourcing goals and connect with local farmers and producers,” said Rachel Ames, general manager of METZ Culinary Management at Atlanta International School. “Our students and teachers enjoy knowing that their food came from a trusted, nearby source and that their lunch money supports local agriculture.”
Allen Clark, food service director of Sage Dining Services at Mountain Vernon Presbyterian School said that working with The Common Market has really helped their school to buy locally: “I am able to let the students know the people who grow their food, so that they feel a real connection to those farmers.”
Two special projects The Common Market Georgia is currently engaged in include the Georgia Farm to Early Care and Education Coalition and Atlanta Hospital Initiative.
- The Georgia Farm to Early Care and Education Statewide Coalition aims to enhance the health of Georgia’s children through increased awareness and consumption of nutritious, locally-sourced food in early-care settings in fun, engaging and innovative ways. To advance the Georgia Farm to Early Care and Education Workgroup’s vision, the Common Market has partnered with Georgia Shape, Georgia Organics and other local, state and national organizations to develop a strategy around local procurement for early childcare providers.
- Launched in January 2017, The Common Market partnered with Morrison Healthcare and 11 Atlanta-area hospitals to implement the “Eat Local! Program.” Every month, partnering hospitals, such as Northside Hospital and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, support local farmers by introducing four to five different local fruits and vegetables in their cafeterias. Since January 2017, the initiative has grown each month.
To learn more about The Common Market and its mission to bring good food to Georgia, visit their website at www.thecommonmarket.org.