The idea with our local farmer program is to try to bring ingredients as close to the restaurant as possible so that we reduce our environmental impact on logistics, transportation, and carbon footprint. Inevitably what happens is we have thousands of small local farms, and for a company like ours, it’s very tricky to manage all of those different entities.
That’s where we believe technology plays an important role to keep everybody connected so that we are guaranteeing food safety and making sure that the right type of capital is reaching the communities that are helping us with our local produce program. It is very important for us to use technology appropriately so that we can improve overall infrastructure.
For Niman, we haven’t chased growth just for the sake of growing, but have really tried to match our growth with our ability to find farmers and ranchers who fit the protocols that we require. We haven’t put ourselves in the position where we’ve been oversupplied and outstripped our network of partners or compromised on those protocols.
We understand what we want to achieve and apply steady, consistent pressure. Then we may look for opportunities to take a bigger leap, but we won’t compromise on what got us to where we are today.