Yeyi Organics is an alternative model to conventional food pathways, creating a sustainable, collaborative, and resilient food distribution system in Northern California. Unless farmers are able to sell direct-to-consumer, there are almost no alternatives to exploitive food distributors in the communities that grow our food. Yeyi Organics will be that alternative.
This GoFundMe will help Yeyi Organics become a viable farmer-centered aggregator through purchasing a new produce transport van. At this time we’re using grant funding to subsidize weekly van rentals, but this is not sustainable. Purchasing a vehicle enables more frequent deliveries and improves predictions for future costs. All funds raised will go directly to Yeyi purchasing a transport van, and if we hit our full goal, a refrigerated one. This will increase capacity to transport produce, help ensure product integrity, and enable the business to partner with more farmers in this urgent time of need.
Yeyi Organics was born out of the Sister Farms Project, an ambitious community project spearheaded by Slow Food East Bay. A group of community members, nonprofit organizations, and small business owners across Bay Area, Central Valley and Central Coast counties came together at the onset of the pandemic to help support impacted BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Color) farmers, creating new direct sales channels. In the past six months, this project has already put more than $38,000 directly in the pockets of over 45 farmers, up-front and in cash.
Yeyi Organics is owned and operated by Cecilia Lara Cengiz, one of Sister Farms Project’s most committed volunteers and a Latinx woman with strong Central Coast ties. She is the daughter of Mexican immigrant farmworkers and wants to build a distribution model that centers the well-being of the farmers who grow our food while being good to the Earth, too. Yeyi works closely with farmers and food buyers to manage logistics that otherwise are the domain of large distributors who are not invested nor integrated in their communities. This means dollars and relationships stay in our communities, and demonstrates there are alternatives to commodity farming and corporate management.
We invite you to join us in taking another step toward a more equitable food system today!