The Coastal Conservation League was bold when it envisioned what would eventually become GrowFood Carolina. The league saw the rural land and farmers at risk and created a solution that not only complemented the work it had been doing for decades, but also created a sustainable path for the future.
GrowFood Carolina (GFC) is a local food hub, located on Morrison Drive in Charleston, that provides the link between farmers and wholesale buyers. The goal is to create economic opportunities for local farmers to conserve South Carolina’s productive agricultural landscapes and provide a sustainable local food system for surrounding communities.
In the first six years, GrowFood Carolina has paid South Carolina farmers more than $4 million. These dollars, rather than going through dozens of hands back to corporate farms from all over the country and beyond, go directly back to communities in South Carolina.
GrowFood Carolina has grown a statewide network of more than 85 farmer partners who share information on buyers, pricing and market trends that enables them to make better long-term decisions for their farms. The customer network continues to expand and diversify. Only farm-identified product is sold to buyers—buyers who are as close as a neighboring restaurant, like Butcher and Bee on Morrison Drive, or as far away as Atlanta—constantly opening new markets for farmers who partner with GFC.
Six years is a blip in agriculture, and the GrowFood Carolina team is inspired by its partners on both ends of the supply chain—from farm to table. The goal is to have a South Carolina full of producers who are diverse, prosperous and great stewards of the land, and who grow healthy, delicious food.
Story by Sara Clow, General Manager