Washington State-based organic feed supplier Scratch and Peck Feeds has seen a 25% to 30% increase in sales since the pandemic began, says Rich Fowles, company CEO.
“We’ve seen a spike in demand. People believe in organic, ethical treatment of animals, sustainable agriculture.”
“Food insecurity becomes real to people during a pandemic like this,” says Diana Ambauen-Meade, Scratch and Peck’s owner and chief integrity officer. “They think ‘we have to grow our own food’ rather than rely on the mass market.”
As much as 80% of Scratch and Peck’s business is selling to people who raise chickens in their backyards, a growing market with some 10 million U.S. households.
“That’s a whole lot of people,” Fowles says. “We’re just scratching the surface, and there’s a lot of opportunity for us to grow.”
Ryan Schwieterman, CEO of The Harvest Company, which supplies non-GMO feed to backyard chicken farmers and small farms, says COVID-19 was a “perfect storm” to encourage people to produce their own food.