Menuplanting

Today, Provender's team is really proud to offer a new platform to our community of farmers and buyers.

Menuplanting is a platform designed for new type of purchasing between buyers and sellers, something that we've seen over the last 18 months at Provender and have dedicated ourselves to solving with a simple piece of technology.

The Problem

Chefs are by their nature dreamers.  The craft of cooking inspires creative reach, but also is rooted in something fundamentally important- that each night, customers come through the door and must be fed.  Balancing creative urges and production demands is what makes a great chef.  

We see our role at Provender as being about giving cooks a bigger, better, cheaper palate of ingredients to play with.  We connect farms and buyers together to make more local food available, but also to avoid problems that chefs tell us prevent them from dealing with farmers- hassle, logistics, invoicing.  We've shipped hundreds of tonnes of local food from farm to fork, and each time we do so, we feel really grateful that our buyers and sellers trust us to make this process easier.

Sourcing great products has pushed us as a business to address some of the fundamental issues in agriculture- namely, how to help manage risk on behalf of our farm partners, so that they can sell more, waste less, and make a better margin on their products.

That led us, in 2014, to open up advanced ordering on Provender, so that buyers could purchase even before the product was harvested.  That led us, in 2015, to allow our buyers to group-purchase whole animals at the moment of slaughter, weeks before aging and butchery made that product available.

Today, we're taking the last step in that journey backwards in time- we're launching Menuplanting to our community. Today, we're giving our buyers a seat at the table from the very moment when our farmers are selecting what crops they will grow for the year.

Introducing Menuplanting

Seeds are an amazing thing.  Being the technology geeks we are, we talk a lot about seeds being the database of agriculture- where all the potential is stored, patiently waiting for a moment that it can be grown into something delicious.  

Seed selection is a difficult process for a farmer- he or she must know not only what the soil of the farm will best support, but also what diseases the seeds must resist, and what the perfect time to plant will be in order to have a crop come to market perfectly.

Menuplanting is a tool that helps farmers in that decision by providing them with information on what buyers want for the coming year.  By giving buyers the opportunity for the first time to collaborate on these decisions, we help our farmers make the right decisions on what buyers want most.

For our buyers, we're offering a platform to help unlock the potential of local farms.  We give them access to a rich database of agriculture, so that they may request that a farmer plant them the perfect combination of ingredients for their menu.

Menuplanting is about collaboration for buyers and sellers, so both sides of the Provender community can come together and make the process of growing great local food a little bit easier for both buyer and seller.  We're delighted to be launching this product out of a private beta today, and after hundreds of successful and unsuccessful plantings haven proven the value of the platform, we're ready to share this with the world.

Pop on Menuplanting today, request some seeds, get matched with a great local farmer, and start unlocking the potential of agriculture.  We're proud of this next step for our company and we could not be more proud of the community of farmers ready to make this happen.

best,
Caithrin & The Provender Team.

 

 

How It Works

Menuplanting is a platform for agricultural supply, made for helping farmers and buyers collaborate on the building blocks of agriculture- seeds. Through Menuplanting, buyers can instantly request a crop from a community of hundreds of Provender growers, track their crops progress from seed to sale, and connect with their growers to customize the fields of their local farm communities.

 

1. DISCOVER YOUR PERFECT SEEDS

The core of Menuplanting is a rich and diverse catalogue of seeds- tailor made for North American growers and sourced from the finest local seed suppliers. Browse this catalogue of diverse, regional foods and choose the crops that best suit your needs.


2. REQUEST A PLANTING

Submitting a request to plant is simple and straightforward- pick your seeds, your quantities, and send us your payment information.


3. MATCH WITH THE PERFECT GROWER

Menuplanting will take your seed selection and match you algorithmically with a farmer who’s climate, region, growing practices and price point are best suited to you as a buyer. It works a bit like internet dating- we find you the perfect partner, and we’ll introduce you both via email.


4. TRACK YOUR CROP PROGRESS

As your crops grow out, Menuplanting will keep you up to date with the latest information on your successes and failures in the agricultural world.  Via email and blog, we'll keep tabs on your crops for you, so you know what will be ready, when, and in what condition.


5. PRE-ORDER AND HARVEST YOUR MENU

The moment our growers give the green thumbs up, we’ll list your product for sale as a pre-order in the Provender marketplace. When your grower confirms yield and harvest date, we provide you with a comprehensive list of harvests, notes on quality and a link to the purchase on Provender that is exclusive to you until harvest.


6.DROPPED OFF AT YOUR DOOR

Once the purchase is made, your grower will ship the product right to you,either in person or through a food safe, accredited transporter. Happy eating!