Transparency is an important thing in this world. From relationships to politics, each of us wants to know that we can trust what’s going on behind the scenes. And the same goes for food – I’m even compelled to say it is just as important as the previous two. Real Time Farms is a business looking to bring that transparency to consumers, and it’s doing so in an engaging, unique way.
Founded by Karl and Cara Rosaen, Real Time Farms is a business with a purpose: provide an interactive and fun source for food knowledge that is also practical for both businesses and consumers alike. What’s more, it figuratively stokes the flame of community togetherness and information sharing, putting users in a position to inform each other and make smart choices that fit their lifestyle.
So how does it go about accomplishing this mission?
Real Time Farms provides a platform food tracking. Information is compiled via crowd-sourcing (imagine Wikipedia for food), and then is shared for other users to access. Farms, restaurants, and farmer’s markets are all catalogued online, showing users how their food makes it from the field to their plate.
To be frank, I was curious about how businesses were responding to such a push toward transparency. To find out, I was lucky enough to speak with Cara Rosaen to get a better picture of the day-to-day operations and the response from business.
Simply put, “It’s been amazing!”
Despite having to navigate through the usual 2-3 decision makers, Real Time Farms is able to work with the majority of their businesses, and better yet, these businesses are often enthused to get on board. In fact, many see it as an opportunity to better relate and appeal to their consumers, who are increasingly looking for socially responsive companies.
Ideally, though, Real Time Farms is looking to get every restaurant on board, regardless of franchise, food source, or location. As Rosaen put it, “We’d like to get McDonalds to be on our site and show us where they’re getting their burgers.” Whether that will happen or not is another story, but there is something very attractive their egalitarian approach to information sharing.
Unlike sources that support one side or agenda, they take more of a neutral approach.
When it comes down to it, says Rosaen, it’s up to users to make the ethical decision on their food choice, whatever that may be. Real Time Farms, more than anything, wants to “gather the information and make it fun to learn about…[it will be used by] the economist loving, data crunching individual…as well as the liberal, ‘bohemian’ person.”
In the future, Real Time Farms hopes to expand its services to people all over the world. It’s already begun reaching out to Canadian and European business, and there is more to come with time.