Friday, October 26, 2007

Local Food Shop

Farmers Market by Beth Logan
Farmers Market

Shopping locally online is about to become a reality in the UK thanks to LocalFoodShop.

Farmers markets work as well as websites to enable the consumer to find you but require an awful lot of inconvenience and social media knowhow : as a consumer you need to know where they are, when they are at the market and thus falling into your usual shopping patterns is far too easy.

What does LocalFoodShop do?

As a consumer you can put in your postcode details and it will bring up participating foodproducers in your area with links to their website. This means that you can go and check them out if you want to with the ability to order online from them. Good, local food delivered to your door at the click of a button.

What does it do for farmers and food producers?

It enables them through social media to turn virtual consumers into real ones, without having to meet them. It means that local producers can make customers aware of what is available, in season and the true cost. The actual cost of registering as a producer and having real e- commerce possibilities is surprisingly low cost.

I have no experience with this service but will give it a go. It makes the prospect of reducing my diet to 100 miles radius a reality. It also meets with my personal values of supporting locally produced food, growing our own and putting money back into the local community.

Producers and consumers alike, go and check it out.

From a downshifting point of view, the handy distance calculator will also give you an indication as to how far your food travels, i.e. 6 miles is my nearest food producer. You also get to know what your area is rich in producing.

All this without having to leave your home? That scores highly on my list. Now how about spreading the word to your favourite food producer; currently word of mouth is still the best way to spread the message. I am of to get some cheese.


Podchef said...

What a great concept! It should certainly help make local produce acceptable for those who wouldn't normally shop in a farmers' market. I can also see it working for those who commute--they can pitch up to work in London or somewhere, order during Lunch and know they have still done their shopping local to their home, supporting local producers.

It still must be early days because many of the shops don't list anything--I tried my old post code in Kent, and the Blakemere's code--but the products listed, the services offered and the distances covered--or not--are impressive.

Thanks, Anne, for pointing this out.

Lisa said...

What an excellent idea. Our local farmers market was on today but I find the 50km return trip to get there simply adds unnecessary food miles to the concept. If I'm in town on the day, I'll happily go but otherwise I stay at home and tend my broccoli!

Farmer Phil said...

I think this is the sort of idea which can at least compete with the convenience of supermarket shopping. In a world where now the norm is for both adults in the household to have fulltime jobs, there is only limited time for tasks such as shopping. I also suspect that you will see supermarkets start to adopt this sort of approach. If you combine Waitrose's attitude to local produce and the efficiency of Tesco's online shopping system, you can see where the consumer can alter the landscape. It's success will depend on maintaining the trust and transparency of the operation.