Philadelphia's (Un)Common Market

(From the archives: originally published August 12, 2015 on WNP's previous website)

To enjoy delicious, fresh fish, it takes expert hands every step of the way from the watermen who catch the fish to the drivers who deliver it to restaurants and cafeterias. The Wide Net Project partners with food distribution partners throughout the region to make sure the Chesapeake’s blue catfish reaches the plates of consumers in five states and the District of Columbia. One of our key new partners is Common Market in Philadelphia.

Common Market distributes local foods to mid-Atlantic wholesale customers while advancing their mission of strengthening regional farms and making local foods available to their community. They connect schools, hospitals, universities, grocery stores, and workplaces to sustainable food.  Their customers also include nonprofit organizations working in underserved communities.  We are honored that the Chesapeake Bay’s blue catfish is part of their sustainable distribution.  You may be wondering, “Why Philly?”  Well, the eastern shore of the Bay is just a short drive from Philadelphia.  In fact, almost half of Pennsylvania’s water systems drain into the Bay.

Common Market maintains close relationships with the producers of their products.  They purchase from approximately 75 sources and visit each site to evaluate the sustainability and quality of their operations.  To add to their list of best practices, throughout the distribution process, Common Market works to highlight the names and places of where the food originates. They take anonymity out of the process, ensuring that their customers know exactly what food they are purchasing. Transparency and strengthening consumer connections to people and land is paramount.

Common Market utilizes an efficient model for getting nutritious, affordable, and locally produced food from the source to the wholesale customer.  Their work with non-profit, wholesale customers particularly aligns them with our hunger-relief mission.  It is a privilege to be a part of their good work.