In 2009, national leaders in sustainable agriculture and local food business launched The Food Commons initiative to catalyze a new economic paradigm and whole systems approach to local food.
The first Food Commons prototype was launched when The Fresno Food Commons Community Trust was incorporated in 2013 as a not-for-profit organization to steward the assets of its food and farming enterprises, promote regenerative agricultural practices and collaborate with other organizations to foster community wellness and wealth creation.
Food Commons Fresno Community Corporation (FCFCC) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Fresno Food Commons Trust and began operations in June of 2015 with the acquisition of the former T&D Willey Farm in Madera that included Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) subscribers and wholesale/institutional customers.
In 2016, FCFCC took over the farming operations at the former T&D Willey Farm, rebranding the operation Road 20 Farm. The farm is certified by CCOF and raises a variety of organic produce. Road 20 currently employs 25 full-time farm workers, using a cooperative management model.
Today, FCFCC has close to 650 CSA subscribers of its Ooooby (Out of our own backyards) business, 15 wholesale/institutional customers and operates a commercial kitchen providing commissary services to food trucks and other food entrepreneurs (504 Kitchen).
Food Commons Fresno employs forty full and part-time employees. We purchase organic produce and artisanal food items from nearly sixty local farmers and manufacturers on a seasonal basis.
In 2019, FCFCC will launch an Employee Stock Ownership Program as a first step toward building community wealth. Together, the Trust and the Community Corporation are termed Food Commons Fresno.
Our business planning and feasibility studies were supported by private foundations including the 11th Hour Project, the TomKat Charitable Trust, the James Millis Jr. Family Fund, and Patagonia Corporation. Additional support comes from the California Department of Food and Agriculture, USDA, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, and individual donors.