Things have been great at Live Local Organic this past year. So far, we have expanded to 14,000 square feet in Portland, and have almost completed our second location in Seattle! Like any startup, we have had some bumps in the road, but we are still moving forward towards the goal of 100 farms!
I wanted to start over (since it’s been a while since we have posted) and talk about the why behind what we are doing at Live Local. The vision that we have and the reason we are in business is what drives us to overcome the challenges we face. Our idea is that if we keep the “why” in the forefront of our minds, the “how” will reveal itself eventually.
Live Local Organic is in business for two reasons. The first is to bring transparency and quality back to the food production industry. We want people to know how their food is being made, period. That is why we always invite customers to come tour our facility, it’s why we put a “harvest date” on all of our packaging, and it’s why we put the name of the person who harvested your produce right on the label. We have had enough of farmers putting who-knows-what into crops that ship thousands of miles before they end up on the shelf. It’s time for producers to be accountable to their customers, and in order to do that, we think customers need to know-or at least have the ability to know-who their farmer is. It just makes sense.
The second reason we are in business it to begin reshaping the mindset of business in the United States. The first thing any business is around for is to make money, that’s just a fact. A for profit company has to make money before it can do anything else. However, focusing solely on making money is what drives companies to become so focused on efficiency that they partake in unethical business practices and lose out on quality. This, eventually, leads to loss of profit at some level. At Live Local Organic, we are focused on sustainability in every sense of the word. Of course, Aquaponics is great for the environment and has great potential in the “green” sustainability movement. That is a given. However, we are also focused on building sustainable systems that focus on more than just the bottom line. We feel that if we invest in our people, in ethical and environmentally friendly practices, and in being an ethically minded company, the benefits will far outweigh the drawbacks. Profit is the goal, but focusing solely on profit will ruin a company.