BOISE-Noon hour on restaurant row in Boise, nearly deserted. And in the time of COVIID that presents more than one problem.
Restaurants, farmers, and ranchers all struggling to survive, they’ve formed a trade group called Fare to help each other out according to organizer Katie Baker:
"FARE is an acronym for Food, Agriculture, Restaurants and Establishments, beverage establishments," said Baker
By saving restaurants, FARE Idaho hopes to improve the financial lot of the farmers whose products end up in those establishments.
"Right now our focus is on the independent restaurants that ultimately will help our independent farmers. An Idaho farmer that grows beef here in Idaho may sell to a restaurant in New York City or San Francisco, they may close and it affects our farmers in Idaho," said Baker.
According to FARE, there were 3,385 small independent restaurants in Idaho before the COVID-related restrictions. Restaurants have struggled with many shutting down permanently or barely afloat. Restaurant owner Dave Krick:
"One of the easiest things we can do is help the business model of the farmer. By helping open up markets, local markets, in particular, are some of the most lucrative for them because they can direct sale, and that's our primary focus," said Krick.
One advantage of selling locally for farmers is that they make a direct sale without the middleman. Farmers helping Restaurants helping farmers. A coalition in the time of Covid. For the Voice of Idaho Agriculture, I'm Jake Putnam