Southwest Florida farm adapts to pandemic with farm-to-door delivery

Reporter: Stephanie Byrne
Published: Updated:
C&B Farms

The coronavirus has rattled nearly all aspects of our lives. Today, we’re getting a better idea of how it impacted those who put food on our tables.

The agriculture industry is not invincible but it adapts.

Florida’s agriculture industry is in traction thanks to covid-19.

The University of Florida, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences vice president,  Dr. J. Scott Angle, “I think we learned that this amazing food program that we have in this country was not quite as resilient as we thought it was.”

Looking at the fruits of their labor, UF and FGCU researchers shared just how big an impact the pandemic has on Florida’s food system.

UF/IFAS Assistant Scientist in the Food and Resource Economics Department, Dr. Christa Court added, “In that March to mid-May period, we estimated that Florida producers lost $894 million.”

In part because of a drop in demand from closures of theme parks, restaurants, and schools.

According to Eminent Scholar Dr. Stuart Van Auken with FGCU, “The impacts that we have found, some will be positive, some will be neutral, and some will be negative.”

A positive outcome may be how different parts of the agricultural industry adapted to social distancing, virtual meetings, and deliveries.

To overcome challenges, Clewiston-based C & B Farms started farm-to-door Worthy Flavors to deliver its vegetables and herbs.

C & B Farms President Chuck Obern explained how they had to adapt with the shifting demand, “And it kind of morphed this summer into a direct delivery box, so we now have a direct delivery of Worthy Flavors to the peoples’ houses.”

And looking at the road ahead, “It’s kind of interesting to see how people are reacting to this box and we’re hoping we can continue.” He added. “We’ve opened the whole East Coast now, we’re doing like 26 states.”

The hope is to continue growing as we navigate the pandemic.

Copyright ©2024 Fort Myers Broadcasting. All rights reserved.

This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without prior written consent.