Harrisonburg, Virginia-based Farmer Focus has announed that it has been named one of Fast Company’s 2022 World Changing Ideas in the General Excellence category.
The awards, which were announced May 3, honor clean technology, innovative corporate initiatives, brave new designs for cities and buildings and other creative works that are supporting the growth of positive social innovation, tackling social inequality, climate change and public health crises.
With a vision to build a more sustainable and resilient poultry supply chain, Farmer Focus’ business model was recognized as a World Changing Idea by Fast Company. The Farmer Focus business model, which was developed in partnership with farmers themselves, disrupts the incumbent integrator system by shifting farm-level decision-making and chicken ownership back to farmers. The model allows farmers to drive innovation and significantly improve financial viability of the farm.
Farmer Focus’ individual growers report that they make 25-35 percent more gross profit farming with Farmer Focus than with their previous companies. They also report that the value of working with Farmer Focus goes far beyond profit. Farmer Focus farmers can reinvest in on-farm innovation while strengthening its communities.
“It is a great honor to be recognized by Fast Company for the work we are doing to build resiliency and equity in the food system, and impact the livelihood of American farmers. As a sixth-generation farmer myself, our model was inspired by my fellow farmers who shared my struggle to make our farms financially viable for the next generation,” said Corwin Heatwole, Farmer Focus founding farmer and CEO.
“Our journey began with just 300 chickens. Due to the scaleability of our model, we now partner with over 70 farmers, with over 100 on the waiting list, and our chicken is available in over 2,800 stores. It is unbelievably humbling to me that in addition to impacting the lives of the farmers who partner with us, we are changing what is possible for farmers across the U.S.”
A panel of preeminent Fast Company editors and reporters selected winners and finalists from a pool of more than 2,997 entries across transportation, education, food, politics, technology, health, social justice and more. The 2022 awards feature entries from across the globe, from Switzerland to Hong Kong to Australia.
“We are consistently inspired by the novelty and creativity that people are applying to solve some of our society’s most pressing problems, from shelter to the climate crisis. Fast Company relishes its role in amplifying important, innovative work to address big challenges,” said David Lidsky, interim editor-in-chief of Fast Company. “Our journalists have identified some of the most ingenious initiatives to launch since the start of 2021, which we hope will both have a meaningful impact and lead others to join in being part of the solution.”
World Changing Ideas is one of Fast Company’s major annual awards programs and is focused on social good, seeking to elevate finished products and brave concepts that make the world better. A panel of judges from across sectors choose winners, finalists and honorable mentions based on feasibility and the potential for impact.
Founded in 2014, Farmer Focus is the only 100 percent USDA organic and Humane Certified chicken company with a mission to promote and protect generational family farms. By shifting farm-level decision-making and chicken ownership back to farmers and empowering them to farm the way they know is best, Farmer Focus improves the financial viability of the farm and farmer profit.
Farmer Focus’ products are available throughout the East Coast and Midwest, at major retailers like Publix, Kroger and Harris Teeter.
To view the full list of award winners, click here.