HOMESTEAD, Fla. – A South Florida farmer is turning to technology to keep his company alive during the coronavirus pandemic.
This innovation coming as the Federal Government’s Small Business Administration announced a new loan program to help agriculture businesses.
In crisis, Sam Accursio found opportunity, swiftly pivoting to a direct-to-consumer model when COVID-19 business closures collapsed traditional markets during south Miami-Dade’s peak growing season.
"Without the pandemic, we probably would have never started the drive-ups," Accursio said. "We have always had farmer’s market but never had this kind of volume."
South Floridians patiently waited in long lines, which sparked an idea for Accursio.
"The evolution has been ordering online," he said.
Accursio's son Austin added that, "Now, there is no line."
The new online market, which can be found by clicking here, allows customers to place an order and set an appointment time for pickup.
"We are innovating with the times," Austin said. "Adding technology to an industry that really has no technology, it's never been done like this, so we are paving new roads."
They are also now offering a mixed produce box catered to a family of four, which includes tomatoes, blueberries, squash, pickles and more.
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They are working with other Florida growers, like Red, White and Blue’s Farms in northern Florida, who have also started selling to direct to consumers.
"She’s taking what we have up there and we are taking some of what she has down here, but we are staying inside the state," Accursio explained.
“It’s been good,” added Austin. “The response has been great.”