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If industrial agriculture uses economies of scale to maximize efficiency—focusing on single crops and reducing input costs to a minimum—then communities can leverage their greatest assets—proximity, familiarity, and private ownership—to compete with the global food system. They can create economies of community. The more you decentralize and empower individuals, the better off everyone is. You cut warehousing and retail distribution costs by creating a direct relationship between farmer and consumer. Then you embolden these farmers to become entrepreneurs and self-sufficient companies that know it is good business to develop sustainable growing methods.

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Economies of Community

Economies of Community

Photo by Douglas Gayeton

Economies of Community

Location: Latrun, Israel

Featuring: Benzi Ronen, Chuberg Organic Farm 

An industrialized food system is highly centralized and benefits from ECONOMIES OF SCALE. Local food systems benefit from ECONOMIES OF COMMUNITY.

Three principles of EOC:
1.    Transparent equal access to information
2.    Democratized equal voice and ability to take action
3.    Frictionless simple transactions and feedback

A sustainable, democratized food system is decentralized and benefits from a network of farms, highly local distribution channels and motivated consumers.

Benzi develops web-based software to empower local food systems.

How can software enable the scaling of a decentralized food system so it feeds more households with locally sourced food? The internet helps local food producers and consumers find each other more easily, software-enhanced systems further leverage this power of the internet by allowing consumers to join scalable, location-specific networks of farms and food producers. Targeted knowledge sharing has transformed the purchasing of food into an intimate conversation between consumers and food producers, it strengthens local economies and results in more secure local food systems.

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