VEGGI Farmers Cooperative is a community member owned and operated farmer’s cooperative based out of New Orleans East, Louisiana. VEGGI Cooperative is dedicated to empowering growers in the Greater New Orleans area, starting in New Orleans East, in order to create sustainable, high quality jobs that enhance the quality of life of communities through increasing local food access and promotion of sustainable agriculture.
Khai Nguyen & Daniel Nguyen
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.
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.
- 16 new farmers incubated in the Co-op
- 4 farmers have have reached pre-BP oil spill income levels and 12 have supplemented their incomes through produce sales.
- 30,000+ lbs.of produce and 30,000+ of tofu harvested and sold to 20+ restaurants
- Currently selling to grocery stories across New Orleans and restaurants such as Domenica’s
- 12 youth involved in learning about food justice
- 9 members farming and earning money
- 15 community members trained in agriculture
- 80% revenue increase year after year
“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!”
Co-Founder, VEGGI Farmers Cooperative ('13)