Celebrity Chefs Are Raising Money For Struggling Family Farms

A survey found that many small, independent farms could face bankruptcy by the end of the year.
Posted at 4:26 PM, May 26, 2020

The ripple effects of coronavirus shutdowns are continuing as many small farms across the country are unsure if they'll be able to survive in the long run.

Ariane Daguin: "Our business D'Artagnan on March 14 lost 75% of our revenues: our clients, the restaurants. And thank God we had some retail stores and some e-commerce, but the bulk of our business disappeared overnight." 

Ariane Daguin is the founder and CEO of gourmet food seller D’Artagnan. The New Jersey-based company partners with small, family-owned farms and organized cooperatives around the country.

Daguin: "Those guys are really, really suffering right now. And not only our group of farmers, but all those farmers who had decided to do products specifically for restaurants."

According to a report from the Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture, nearly a third of the independent farmers surveyed said they could face bankruptcy by the end of the year. 

Chef James Henderson said, "My biggest fear is that the farm isn’t here for the future generations."

In an effort to help those affected by the pandemic, D'Artagnan partnered with celebrity chefs and started the All For One Farmer Salute and Relief Fund. ["I'm really hungry after all this!"] As of this reporting, it had raised about $15,000 for Farm Aid, and helped educate self-quarantined audiences about the importance of supporting their local farms.

Chef Elizabeth Falkner said, "Today, so many people want to make better decisions and be more informed about where their food comes from. … That's why I'm involved in this, because I really believe that we need to change a lot of food policy in this country.

"If nothing else, this confinement has actually helped us educate people to recognize that — to recognize the difference between good and bad meat."