What is Farmer Focus?
Founded by a sixth-generation farmer, Farmer Focus is the only 100% organic and humane-certified chicken company with a mission to protect and promote generational family farms by shifting farm-level decision-making and chicken ownership back to farmers and improving the financial viability of the farm and farmer profit.
The current industry landscape
Fixing the modern chicken farming system is no easy task. It’s a $2 billion industry that is continuing to grow: 41% of shoppers say chicken is their preferred source of protein. In 1970, the average person ate about 50 pounds of meat from chickens a year; today, it’s more than 100 pounds. One of the ways that chicken became the dominant protein consumed in this country is due to a system called the "integrator model." In short, that means that the farmer owns the chicken house and takes on all the risk and debt, but the chicken company owns the birds and the feed and pretty much dictates every aspect of how those chickens are raised, from the capital investments a farmer needs to make to his chicken houses (on his own dime) to the use of antibiotics, space requirements, etc. This has created a broken system where farmers compete against each other to grow the largest bird at the lowest cost. While supply has increased at a cheaper expense for consumers, quality has drastically diminished and, according to an Executive Order released by the Biden Administration in July, the amount of each dollar spent on food going to farmers has been declining for decades.
The creation of Farmer Focus
In 2012, Farmer Focus’ founding farmer and CEO started with 300 birds and a dream of building a company that promotes and protects generational family farms like the one he grew up on in Virginia's Shenandoah Valley. In 2021, Farmer Focus became the #1 exclusively organic chicken company.. Core to their success is our partnership with over 70 independent farmers who continue to improve the standards on raising chickens organically and humanely.
The goal of Farmer Focus
For decades, Chicken farming was a sustainable way of life for millions of hard-working Americans. Farmer Focus’ founding farmer and CEO, Corwin Heatwole, believed it could be so again. He wanted to make generational family farms, which account for 96% of the 2,204,792 farms in the US today, sustainable and financially viable again. The Farmer Focus business model, which was developed in partnership with the farmers themselves, shifts farm-level decision-making and chicken ownership back to farmers, allowing them to drive innovation and generate more revenue. In the traditional poultry model payment is a sliding scale. Every week, someone wins and someone loses. Since Farmer Focus farmers own their birds and their feed, and the company pays a flat fee, there are no winners and losers. Farmer Focus has created a system where everyone wins and that breeds innovation.
FF individual growers report that they make 25% to 35% more gross profit farming with FF than their previous companies. But more importantly, their farmers tell them that the value of working with Farmer Focus goes far beyond profit. The company hears constantly from their farmers about the myriad ways their lives have improved since joining Farmer Focus. It’s no wonder that the waiting list exceeds 100 farmers, who are looking for financial security and better lives for both their families and animals. As small American farmers battle extinction, Farmer Focus is fighting to preserve a way of life. With fair pay, these farms and rural communities can survive for future generations.
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