When I heard about this site on the local news a few weeks ago, I was going to try and write a fancy review. However, I think the site’s about page says it pretty well:
The Environmental Finance Center at the University of Maryland launched Foodtrader.org, a virtual farmerâ€™s market that connects both buyers and sellers with local food as soon as it is harvested. In concert with sister site Agtrader.org, Foodtrader.org gives consumers access to the rich diversity of agricultural resources within the state of Maryland.
The Environmental Finance Center is the first organization to provide an online venue for letting the general public know when food is harvested, how much food is available, and where that food can be purchased outside of local farmers markets. With Foodtrader.org, farmers can create an instantaneous listing that will identify the description, quantity, price, and location of their items. Consumers can search listings within specific categories and communicate directly with the farmer to buy the food at the farm, at a farmers market or at another prearranged location.
Since the website will act as a marketplace, all transactions are the responsibility of the buyer and seller. The website is dynamic and allows traders to quickly register and then post anytime without filling out any forms. Pricing and delivery are left up to buyer and seller to work out on their own. Users cannot purchase items directly through the site; they must contact the producer who posted the item to work out pricing and delivery. The site will be monitored and maintained by the EFC staff. All information is kept private.
Currently, the site is designed for Maryland producers and consumers; as such, anyone outside the state is unable to create an account. However, anyone can visit the site, click on listings, and view listing details and producer contact information — that is, buy from anyone listing items for sale.
My Thoughts on FoodTrader.Org
Wow, what a cool concept! Where else could I easily find Goji plants (not that I’ve ever heard of them), or a whole, live goat? Some farmers even have pictures of their produce, and the chickens that I could be eating for dinner tonight! Check out the listings page for current available produce/meat/etc.
I can also find out where all the Maryland farmers markets are being held, with times, dates and contact information. And if, for some reason, I had produce that someone else wanted, I can find them on the Wanted pages. I wonder if anyone wants squirrel, because that’s about all I can find around here.
As far as criticisms of the site, I wish I could search for offers near my zip code, but otherwise the site seems pretty easy to navigate and use. I haven’t created an account yet, but if I find something interesting and close by, I just might.
So do any of you have experience with FoodTrader.org or something similar in your own state? Let me know.
This was NOT a paid or sponsored review