« Civil evidence gathering | Main | AdoptAGeek.org - helping geeks serve the local community »

Get small/local food produce over the internet

FROM: Greg Turner

What NEED does this meet?
A system which helps us move away from the stranglehold placed on food producers by large supermarket chains.

Also a way of getting fresher local produce from independent sellers.

Also a way of having food delivered to your door from multiple sellers.

What is the APPROACH?
OK, the new bit is a distribution system, which coordinates the produce of local suppliers with the needs of consumers. So, the consumers place the orders, and all the orders are collated, and sent to the suppliers, who deliver to the distributors in bulk who put together the orders. Hopefully quality will be high for delivery, since consumers know who the producers are.

Consumers can collect their order when it is ready, or have it delivered.

I think that distributing for competing suppliers (like several farms which sell apples) are OK - so long as consumers know where their produce is coming from, they will settle upon their favourite suppliers. Competitors may wish to send free samples of their produce to tempt consumers away.

What are the BENEFITS to people?
Choice: of local/organic/fair trade produce - consumer is informed about what they eat Quality: since the relationship between consumer and producer is closer, more trust between them will develop. Also fresh, seasonal goods. Convenience: When trust exists, consumer is more comfortable about ordering food remotely, rather than picking from a supermarket. Fairness: Equitable to producers and consumers.

What is the COMPETITION?
BIG competition from Sainsbury's et. al. This idea should win because it's attractive and feel-good, and might get the Big Guns to change their tune about exploiting producers (which is a win in itself).

Competition with traditional marketplaces on their own ground, with the convenience of eCommerce and consumer knowledge, without the benefit of seeing the actual produce.

It might lose because of competitive pricing, but perhaps some of the saving in overheads would reduce the difference?

What BUDGET & LOGISTICS are required?
This idea can start small - a pilot scheme in a town with lots of surrounding producers. Perhaps coastal, for fresh seafood, too?

I imagine that after the site development for linking consumers with producers, running costs would be on marketing, warehousing, and delivery to consumers.

November 1, 2003 in Empowering Consumers | Permalink


Information about locally produced food is already available by postcode - see: http://www.bigbarn.co.uk

Posted by: Bernard Burns at Nov 4, 2003 1:03:50 AM

Please could you send me some information about bread producers in the Yorkshire area.

Posted by: Vanessa Cassano at Nov 17, 2003 12:27:40 PM