Balancing the Local Food System
A ballaster’s job in days of old was to add or subtract weight called ballast in the bottoms of ships to improve their stability. Today, the online food platform, Ballasters facilitates people purchasing directly from food producers bringing balance back to the local food system. End customers can find all the local produce in one online location; farmers, harvesters and food artisans are empowered by selling straight to their customers and can educate the public about what they do. The food sold on Ballasters is sustainable, locally fresh and ethically produced. By hard-working producers profiting instead of middlemen, their livelihoods are stabilized which also benefits the more educated consumers of today. We all need to eat and prefer to do it well.
Ballasters is the passion project of three fishermen. First, they started the Fisherman’s Market store in Nelson BC in 2002. This led to four other stores in the province and a wholesale seafood business. When Covid-19 struck they moved to selling to the customer at home and relying less on wholesale orders. Successful online retail sales with store pickup led to the broader concept of Ballasters. Why not join with other conscientious producers to create a marketplace of choice for their customers?
Communities Feeding Themselves
By side-stepping complex international food systems, food sovereignty can blossom. Communities are strengthened through localizing food systems; money goes back into the adjacent economy while the time between harvesting food and its destination on the consumer’s table is lessened. Vendors gain resilience in the marketplace by connecting directly to customers. Food harvesting knowledge is passed onto future farmers. This newly discovered but ancient food distribution structure allows for smaller and more ecologically sound food growing practices.
A User-Friendly Virtual Marketplace
In these changing times, Ballasters provides a user-friendly, fun system for the vendor and the customer to connect in a virtual marketplace. It’s no longer a secret where to find the sweetest honey and corn, grass-fed beef and the freshest vegetables. Vendors can come together safely to create a well-rounded shopping experience outside the superstore structure. The joy of farmer’s market shopping is still available no matter the circumstances.