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Cropolis: Bridging the Local Food Gap

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After nearly a year of research into the importance of local food and how to improve access to it, we have come up with a few answers. The Cropolis team has worked with farms, food distributors, large-institution and small-business food purchasers, and individuals to reaffirm why local food is so valuable and discover why there isn’t more participation in the local food economy. In talking to these groups, we routinely got a similar response:

“Local food is too complicated!”

Unfortunately, when broken down this makes sense.
For example, orders from restaurants to local farms take place over the phone, through emails and texts, and sometimes, even with a fax machine. Disorganized communication means that these relationships are hard to build and even harder to sustain. This inefficiency makes seasonal produce unaffordable and inaccessible to many restaurants and makes significant sources of demand unavailable to prospective local farmers. There is no centralized location for local food transactions and ordering.

True to our name, Cropolis is solving this two-sided problem and bringing local food back into the community.

We are focused on providing affordable, web-based tools like communication and order management, payment, and traceability to local farmers and their business consumers. With these tools, Cropolis aims to dramatically improve the sustainability and accessibility of local food relationships and bring these networks into the 21st century.

Supplying these tools, and more, gives local food the opportunity to expand beyond a luxury good. Given Pittsburgh’s reputation as a model food city and test-bed for food innovation, we have the opportunity to change the connotation of local food from the exception to the expectation.


Nov 30 2016

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Healthy Food

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