Lancaster Farm Fresh Cooperative
The Lancaster Farm Fresh Cooperative (LFFC) is a farmer owned cooperative in southeastern Pennsylvania. LFFC represents 40 farmer owners all located in Lancaster County. The cooperative is made up of Amish and Mennonite farmers who take great pride in building their soil to produce healthy plants, animals and people. The Keystone Development Center (KDC) supported the start-up activities of the cooperative and assisted the group in incorporation, by-law development, and board education. KDC provided a local facilitator during the start-up year (2005). She was able to set up the cooperative office, bring on-line the web ordering system, and ease any conflicts arising from the membership differences. LFFC is a rare cooperative effort between Amish and “English” farmers. The cooperative model gave them the framework to work together, across the differences in their lifestyles and religious practices. LFFC has greatly contributed to the rural community by assisting start-up farmers and opening up marketing channels between the farmer and consumer.
In 2008 they reached the milestone of $2,000,000 in gross sales and pride themselves on returning 75% of that to farmer owners. LFFC serves the Lancaster and Philadelphia metropolitan regions through wholesale food service and community supported agriculture. Whether the buyer is a restaurant owner or natural food store manager they are able to view available products and order on-line at www.lancasterfarmfresh.com.
The produce sold through LFFC is certified organic, with the exception of tree fruit that is grown using Integrated Pest Management techniques (IPM). The dairy products are produced on small farms with small herds of Guernsey, Jersey and Holstein cows. LFFC farmers do not feed their animals growth hormones or antibiotics. The poultry products come from small flocks that eat grass and insects and spend time, on all but the coldest days, clucking about the range.