BIPOC Growers of South King County Aggregation Project
The International Rescue Committee’s (IRC) New Roots program requests funds to carry out the BIPOC Growers of South King County (SKC) Aggregation Project. The project’s main purpose is to increase the viability of small BIPOC-led farm businesses in South King County through the development of “soft” aggregation infrastructure and specialized coordination between growers and buyers. This project will focus specifically on BIPOC farmers who recently gained access to land at the Horseneck Farm and experience significant barriers to market access, with an eye to expanding to include more SKC BIPOC growers in the future. Since gaining access to the land, producers have experienced increased demand from wholesale buyers who want to support BIPOC producers; however, they have also experienced challenges in meeting these buyers’ needs due to a lack of aggregation support. IRC will develop guidelines for coordinated and collaborative produce aggregation, curriculum to train participating farmers on these guidelines, and the administrative infrastructure to better support higher-capacity aggregation activities. Through this increased support and ability to meet the needs of wholesale buyers, small BIPOC producers will experience greater growth in their businesses and community members in South King County will have greater access to the locally-grown produce.