Food produced locally only represents 3% of all the food we consume. Yet they benefit our economy, our health, and the whole community, reducing our carbon footprint and creating local jobs. So, why is it so under-represented? Oney brings you the explanations and starts to find the solutions.
Local - it’s complicated.
Small retailers working with one or more local producers is relatively easy. But, it gets more complicated when we reach 15, 20 or 30 partners.
The daily contact, administrative steps, payments, sourcing new partners…all that takes time and takes away from core activity. This explains why there is so little local penetration with certain retailers and why centralised purchasing is preferred. But today a number of alternatives do exist.
Forager: local sourcing simplified
“We are the digital pipeline for local foods, where we connect thousands of farms with hundreds of buyers”. That is how David D. Stone defines his start-up, Forager. This serial American entrepreneur has made local procurement his new playing field. Forager is a digital procurement to payment platform which is very easy to use.
It reduces costs and the complexity of the sourcing process.
Up to 60 hours a week are saved.
By centralising suppliers, Forager simplifies the ordering process. In just a few clicks it is now easy for retailers to procure, order and programme payments and to communicate via an integrated messaging system. Today over one hundred producers participate in the programme. And increasingly retailers are encouraging their independent suppliers to join the platform.
The aim is clear: to meet consumer need for local produce.
Perfarmer: the alert system
In the same way, the French app, Perfarmer, helps farmers to define their commercial strategy and so sell at the right moment. The app responds to two key issues: commodity market volatility and the inability of farmers to follow in real time.
Now, the farmer is immediately notified by text as soon as his selling price is reached. He is then sure to sell at the right moment at the price that he wants and so to ensure his sustainability.
What if that was the model of the future?
Local sourcing is definitely a key factor in tomorrow’s food supply. Sourcing is therefore an issue of interest for the whole supply chain…including large supermarkets. Auchan Retail has recently confirmed that it has secured land of several hundred hectares around fifty of its sites in France. The aim: to develop urban farms that supply shops while respecting the environment and remaining organic.
Photo credit : Forager