Fredéric Laforge grew up on a farm in Baker-Brook, New Brunswick, and actively helped his dad with everything that needed to be done. Moving onto a marketing career path, Fred never lost touch with farm life and his childhood experiences, which is why, when he started to notice just how much the farmers are starting to struggle, he decided to change directions completely. Passionate about his community and exceptionally driven, he started The Farmers’ Truck to help local farmers and in doing so, he is able to bring fresh, healthy, local produce back into our food culture in the Greater Moncton region.
Can you tell us a little bit about what you do?
The Farmers’ Truck is a mobile farmers’ market. Our mission is to bring healthy, accessible, local food in every community!
How many people currently work for you?
We started off as just two people, now we’re seven in total.
Where are you located?
We operate out of Moncton, NB.
Can you describe the culture at your business?
At The Farmers’ Truck we strive on culture, because we are socially driven. We work as a team and empower each other. It’s a place to grow and have a meaningful career. We have strong values and a clear mission: make local food more accessible!
What does your team (and business as a whole) do to support and grow that culture?
The key is to lead by example, set your ego aside, work hard and practice gratefulness. I constantly remind my team how important they are to me and I compliment them on doing a good job. I believe in embracing failure as an opportunity to learn and in encouraging entrepreneurship so your team can become leaders and help others in the company.
When your employees talk about your business, what do they brag about?
It’s fun, dynamic - they're always working on many different things and practicing the skills they are good at. It’s a very flexible environment. We celebrate our wins and share the love.
What is your most recent achievement, milestone, reason for bragging rights?
Our new Employee Wellness Initiative has been crazy successful, businesses from the region love the opportunity to have their employees eat well and learn about our local products. The initiative also gives the employees discounts for all produce all season long, as well as a 100% local food tasting at the beginning of the season. We give them recipes as well so they can learn to cook healthily with the fresh local ingredients.
What kinds of roles are you hiring for?
At this time, we’ll be putting more effort in our online store and we’ll hire more marketing experts and web developers soon.
What kinds of people are you looking for?
People passionate about food, especially local food! It’s not an easy business to be in, but it is very rewarding. Hire for the soul, train for the role.
What is your company goal for the coming year?
Our goal this year is to launch our full online store. We aim to be the Amazon of local food :) We also have a couple of things in the making, like new exciting box options and increasing our online subscriptions soon.
Anything an outsider may not know and that an insider might take for granted, but that sets you apart as a great company?
Ten percent of our revenue will go towards a gift card program in partnership with the local food bank. The idea is to help families in need get access to fresh, healthy, local food every week. We also have a Zero-Waste Initiative where we recuperate as much produce as possible and repurpose it or donate it to the food bank. For example, just this week we got a hold of a lot of garlic and made pesto, which has given us an idea: we may start our own brand for certain products like jam and sauces.
Any recent achievements and highlights that might not have made the news?
We have so much on the go, but I guess winning second place at the National Bank business pitch competition at the Youth Entrepreneurship Summit this spring was one of them. (During the competition, Fred met his Executive Director, Jessica Wall). Also, our online store’s subscription box sold out in 16 days, which is pretty exciting. That says a lot about our brand and our message as well as the market. Greater Moncton is ready for better food options, the demand is there.
Fredéric Laforge is an inspirational community figure, a local leader, and a positive force of change. With the help of his incredible team, he is revolutionizing Greater Moncton’s food culture, and we are all proud to be a part of his community and his entrepreneurial journey.
To find out more about Fred and his Farmers’ Truck or to see the Truck Schedule, visit https://www.thefarmerstruck.com/.