Dedicated to bringing healthy local food to the marketplace and promoting a humane, sustainable agriculture system for the region.
Fair Food was founded in 2000 by Philadelphia entrepreneur Judy Wicks, who wished to spread the locally-sourced model of her restaurant, White Dog Café, to other businesses in the region. Ann Karlen, founding director of Fair Food, began her work by connecting the local farms supplying the White Dog to a larger marketplace of restaurants and stores. Ann ran Fair Food for the first four years from an office in Judy’s house, with financial support from the White Dog Café and its customers, many other generous individuals, and private foundations. White Dog Community Enterprises, the non-profit affiliate of the café, eventually contributed an institutional home and other important services, until Fair Food spun off as an independent organization in 2009.
Fair Food began with the narrow focus of keeping more farmland in production by connecting chefs with local farmers, and it has since expanded its reach to a broad range of buyers and producers, from small-scale diversified farmers to mid-size growers who supply colleges, hospitals and other institutions.
Over the past thirteen years, Fair Food has built demand for local food across all sectors of the Philadelphia-area food system. By shining a spotlight on the men and women who grow our food, Fair Food and its partners have created a paradigm shift in the public’s perception of local agriculture and the importance of protecting our food system.