Not Just A Trend: Farm to Table Building a Better Food System
Farm-to-table cuisine is gaining popularity in Nigeria. According to Mosunmola Umoru, numerous farms have sprung up in city centers. Instead of purchasing produce in bulk from large markets, urban restaurateurs are now increasingly ordering fresh produce directly from local farmers. COVID-19 has forced restaurants into survival mode; many restaurants are choosing to adopt the farm-to-table concept in an effort to attract a broader clientele.
Umoru is Founder & CEO of Farmshoppe, which she described as a series of grocery stores that specialize in fresh, high-quality produce. Customers can come and choose fresh produce on a weekly or biweekly basis; livestock can be purchased all week long. Umoruexplained that Farmshoppe ensures that the nutritional benefits of produce are kept intact and guarantees traceability, freshness, and value for money. Farmshoppe previously sold mostly to restaurants, hotels, and other businesses; now, they are pivoting to selling directly to customers.
Umoru noted that, within the past few years, Nigerian farmers have been increasingly growing non-indigenous varieties of produce, including mint, basil, kale, butternut squash, and sweetcorn.
“Urban farms are being set up in the city center, and small businesses are starting to order directly from farmers. Consumers want fresh, good-quality produce,” Mosunmola Umoru
Key takeaways & next steps:
Mosunmola Umoru plans to introduce Dan Barber to local Nigerian chefs who specialize in working with indigenous ingredients. Barber hopes that these local chefs will eventually travel to the U.S. to work alongside and provide training to his Blue Hill team.