VEGGI Farmers Cooperative

The Pitch

VEGGI Farmers Cooperative incubates new farmers and teaches sustainable urban agriculture to former Vietnamese fishermen in New Orleans East who lost their livelihoods after the 2010 BP oil spill. VEGGI focuses on job creation and increasing food access to New Orleanians.

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VEGGI Farmers Cooperative
Khai Nguyen & Daniel Nguyen

Khai Nguyen & Daniel Nguyen

The Entrepreneur

Khai Nguyen grew up in New Orleans and graduated from Tulane University with a degree in business. In the aftermath of the BP oil spill, Khai started working with MQVN Community Development Corporation in New Orleans East with its workforce development program to assist affected fishermen. Since 2010, Khai has worked with these Vietnamese fishermen in the VEGGI Farmers Cooperative. Currently, Khai works with VEGGI to continue to provide sustainable jobs and provide healthy food throughout the city.

Daniel Nguyen attended UC San Diego for his undergraduate career, where he was introduced to environmental racism, which causes disproportionate stress on minority communities. Daniel believes environmental and economic destruction are inherently linked, and thus environmental sustainability is crucial to building sustainable communities. Previously, Daniel managed the Viet Village Urban Farm Sustainable Aquaculture Park, a community-driven process to create green jobs that address issues of unemployment, food access, and environmental concerns.

The Opportunity/Challenge

VEGGI Farmers Cooperative incubates new farmers and teaches sustainable urban agriculture to former Vietnamese fishermen in New Orleans East who lost their livelihoods after the 2010 BP oil spill. VEGGI focuses on job creation and increasing food access to New Orleanians.

The Impact

  • 16 new farmers incubated in the Co-op
  • 4 farmers have have reached pre-BP oil spil income levels and 12 have supplemented their incomes through produce sales.
  • 10,000 lbs of produce harvested
  • Currently selling to grocery stories across New Orleans and restaurants such as Domenica’s

Class

2012-13 Fellows

Sector

Consultant

Press Coverage

News Posts

VEGGI’s involvement as one of Propeller’s Accelerator Fellows has been transformative – we’ve spent months working closely with consultants such as Nora Ellertsen from the Funding Seed to polish our pitch, strengthen our local and national networks, develop fundraising and financial strategic plans. We exceeded our fundraising targets to capitalize new farmers!”

Daniel Nguyen
Co-Founder, VEGGI Farmers Cooperative ('13)