Changing the way business is done, berry by berry

Liepold Farms Blackberry Field, Boring, OR

Liepold Farms Blackberry Field, Boring, OR

It’s hard not to walk around in continual amazement at how much is being done on the sustainability front here at Burgerville.  Many of the exciting projects I am seeing and hearing about are works-in-progress, so stay tuned, but here is one example I can share now:

Last week I sat in on a meeting with the processor of our blackberries.  The local processor we work with is now owned by a larger company, and this meeting was about establishing our relationship with the parent company.

Here’s how part of the conversation went:

Burgerville:  In order to get the best blackberry flavor, our farmers will pick several harvests of Marionberries for us, at the peak of ripeness.  This means we can’t predict exactly when those harvests will be, because berries are ripe when they’re ripe. Our request to you is that treat the farmer as your “customer,” and give them your absolute best customer service. Be responsive to their schedule, and to any needs they have.

Processor:  Treat the farmer as the customer?  That’s 180 degrees from the normal industry behavior, where usually the farmer is the one who gets the short end of every stick.

Burgerville:  Yes, at the heart of our menu and food is our relationship with the farmer. We work closely with them to understand how to truly support farming families and their communities, and to serve the absolute best food and local ingredients  to our guests.

Processor:  So the true value of the food your selling, really, is human respect!

Burgerville:  Yes, that’s it.

Processor:  We have worked in this industry for a lot of years and with a lot of businesses, and nobody, from coast to coast, is as into this as you are.

Burgerville:  We can’t do it alone. We need our entire supply chain of partners joining us and working together. This is our invitation to you.

Processor:  We’ll be honored to be part of it.  And if we could get in on one of those farm visits, we would just love it.