To enhance the freshness of our food offerings without compromising our commitment to quality, Cura maintains an innovative local purchasing company it calls FarmSource™. It is an initiative to find and partner with some of the finest local growers, family-owned farms and producers of food in our communities.
The notion of buying from the farmer “down the street” was born in 2002 during a conference that the Pennsylvania Association of Sustainable Agriculture (PASA) sponsored. At the conference, Cura representatives reached out to farmers by distributing information about our desire to support local agriculture. The interest from the farming community was overwhelming. Members of the Cura purchasing team got to work by studying, analyzing and getting to know farmers and what each one does. Cura later became a member of PASA and continues to be active in promoting profitable farms that produce healthy food while respecting the natural environment.
In 2009, the program earned us several prestigious awards:
- The Business Ethics Award for its responsible business decisions and sustainable business practices.
- The Glynwood Harvest Award for Connecting Communities, Farmers and Food. This award was created by Glynwood, the not-for-profit organization whose mission is to save farming in the North East, in order to highlight innovative work being done to increase access to fresh, locally-produced food and to recognize leaders across the country that support regional agricultural systems.
Today, the company purchases $23 million in local foods from farmers and producers of food we support within a 125-mile radius, which greatly reduces the distance food travels from harvest to table. This decreases air pollution, water pollution, traffic congestion and the need for oil.