Lady Moon Farms
, which started in 1987 on 22 acres in Selinsgrove and is today a year-round organic farming operation in Chambersburg, Georgia and Florida, has won an Innovation Award at Whole Foods’ first Supplier Awards
in Austin, Texas.
Lady Moon received the award for becoming the first Florida farm to sign with the Coalition of Immokolee Workers
, an organization supporting increased rights and pay for Florida farm workers. Lady Moon agreed to the coalition’s penny-a-pound measure, which gives field workers an extra penny for every pound picked.
“I’m a city guy who got it into my head to start farming," says Tom Beddard, Lady Moon’s owner. ”A part of organic farming was always about social resonsibility.”
Lady Moon employs about 150 and most are full-time, year-round employees who move among the farming locations with the growing season; many have benefits including paid vacations and holidays “unheard of in the migrant world,” says Beddard.
Lady Moon’s organic vegetables are sold at Whole Foods and other retailers along the East Coast and as far west as Chicago, Beddard says. “We’re not that big in the scheme of conventional agriculture, but in the organic specialty market, people look at us as being corporate and big.”
Beddard says the Whole Foods award came as a surprise. Out of thousands of vendors, only 17 were named as winners.
Source: Tom Beddard, Lady Moon Farms
Writer: Elise Vider