Considering what you’re putting at the centre of your table is a hot topic these days. And a new startup out of Leslieville wants to bring transparency to the meat you buy.
NIKU Farms is a platform that connects consumers with local, small-scale farms to purchase ethically raised meat.
“Much of the food you purchase in grocery stores and butcher shops comes from a broken system,” says Jake Goldberg, co-founder of NIKU Farms. “Yet, Ontario is home to many local farmers who are excellent stewards in taking the care necessary to offer us ethically raised meat — you just didn’t know where to find them.”
NIKU simplifies the process by hand-picking quality vendors and connecting your purchase to the nearest farm. The business vets each farm in person, to ensure animals are raised on pasture, are not given additional hormones or unnecessary antibiotics.
“Our customers are excited to support a system that ensures that farmers feed animals what they’re supposed to eat and treat them how they’re supposed to be treated,” Goldberg says. "In turn, they’ll know that they're getting a healthier, tastier product, while making sure the farmers are properly compensated and motivated to continue raising animals this way.”
How does it work? Visit nikufarms.com and check out its meat pack options. Once you place your order, the farmer receives it directly and begins creating the package. Shipping is done in insulated boxes with gel packs and sent to your door directly from the farm. You don’t even have to be home when it’s delivered (although they do recommend it goes into the fridge by 8 p.m.).
“Selling directly to the customer is the best kind of sale for my farm and family,” says Marita Fields farmer, Marlin Martin. “I could sell far more meat if I raised them in a crowded industrial farm — and I could sell it for less. Instead, I raise animals on my farm's wide-open pastures. Selling directly to the customer through NIKU Farms means we both get more value for the meat, buy cutting out the costly distributor.”
Want to try it out? NIKU Farms is offering a deal for locals to save 15% on their first purchase using promo code GOODHOOD15.
Visit nikufarms.com for more information.