World PEAS ("People Enhancing Agricultural Sustainability") Marketing Cooperative
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The Word PEAS Cooperative is a program of the New Entry Sustainable Farming Project (New Entry). New Entry is a new farmer training program that helps beginning, immigrant and refugee farmers gain business and farm production skills and access to land, markets and other resources necessary to start viable farm businesses. For more information about New Entry, click here.
New Entry helped form the World PEAS Coop in 2005 with the goal to help beginning, immigrant and refugee farmers connect with local consumers seeking fresh produce. Most participating farmers do not have a large enough volume, means of transportation, time or English language skills to effectively access viable markets on their own. By forming a cooperative, small, beginning, immigrant and refugee farmers are able to combine their products to more efficiently and effectively connect with local consumers.
Roughly three dozen small farmers from North America, Southeast Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa and the Caribbean now farming in the greater Lowell area coordinate their production and marketing efforts through the World PEAS Cooperative. Additional fruit including berries, peaches, apples and pears along with vegetables such as corn and potatoes, not grown by program farmers, are sourced from other local farms within 100 miles of Boston. Roughly 75% of revenues earned on crops grown by program farmers goes to the farmer, helping them establish viable farm businesses. The remaining 25% of revenues, plus slightly higher commissions on crops bought in bulk from other local farms, covers the costs associated with running the cooperative including marketing, delivery, and other operations. By carefully planning production to meet demand, maintaining limited infrastructure, and minimizing transportation, World PEAS simultaneously offers program and other local farms a high paying marketing outlet and local consumers a fair price on fresh local produce, while covering its own operating costs.
The World PEAS Cooperative primarily sells directly to consumers through a Community Supported Agriculture Program (CSA), with additional sales to institutional food services/restaurants, and at farmers’ markets (in partnership with the United Teen Equality Center) . If you are interested in learning more about the CSA and purchasing produce from World PEAS, visit the CSA page. If you are interested in joining the CSA or would like to support our low-income food access programs, click here.
For more information about World PEAS, read our 2012 Annual Report.