Web site: www.tog.coop
Tuscarora Organic Growers (TOG) took root in 1988 when a group of neighboring organic fruit and vegetable farmers discussed the possibility of joining forces in the marketing of their products. By working together, they could coordinate crop production to complement one another rather than compete. And they could enjoy economies of scale in shipping and selling. The cooperative form of business fit the farmers’ needs, allowing ownership and market access to be divided fairly and decisions to be made jointly. And through cooperation, the growers were able to serve their customers better, by providing a diversity of crops and a level of service that no one grower could provide on his own. In TOG’s first season, seven growers moved about 1,500 cases of produce to Washington DC retailers over a five-month period. Since then, each succesive season has brought steady growth in sales as well as diversity, season length and professionalism. In the coming season, TOG will work with over 28 member producers and 17 non-member producers to bring a projected 100,000 cases of produce from farm to city, offering locally grown, certified organic produce all 12 months of the year.