Selling food locally through online shops
Although many businesses have their own unique marketing channels, lots of producers sell to local consumers through online farmers markets and food networks. We have written about some of the great websites that are operating in Wales at the moment.
Open Food Network is an online platform where farmers and food producers can sell their produce at a price that works for them. This model is excellent to use both as an individual business and as a community of farmers and food producers. In this sense, a virtual farmers’ market is created. This in turn means that there is much more security for ‘stall holders’, as products are pre-purchased. This platform also has a tool to help producers keep track of their sales and accounts. It is free to sign up to Open Food Network. Small producers trading under £500 then pay a minimum donation of £1 per month OR 2% of sales with no minimum payment, so no risk while you start.
Local Food Nodes is an up and coming online platform where food producers can sell their produce to an online market for free. A big motivator behind Local Food Nodes is to make food local again. In this model, there are no middlemen – producers sell their produce online, with all payments going straight from consumer to producer. The deliveries and pick-ups take place in a location that has previously been specified by the producer e.g. a car park – this then creates a local food node. This model is still being built on and improved, but has huge potential to be a great success.
Carmarthen Food is a bespoke online platform for food producers, offering a weekly user-friendly click and collect service as well as delivery options. It’s another fantastic way of bringing local food producers, growers and buyers together, strengthening the local food economy. Each producer has their own page, which displays all of their products. There is also a ‘market page’, which groups similar products together. Everything is pre-ordered, so nothing goes to waste. It has proved to be very successful in the Carmarthen area and a replica model of this site could be built for farmers and food producers in any town/region. This model charges 17% commission.
NeighbourFood is an online market for farmers and food producers to sell their produce directly to their local community. There are no commercially grown or intensively reared products. Consumers can either collect their order or have it delivered to them. Producers choose the price at which that they want to sell their products and everything is pre-paid, reducing waste production by a huge amount. Producers receive direct customer feedback, meaning they know exactly what their buyers like and dislike. This system creates a community that really cares about local food. Producers receive 80% of sales, excluding VAT. The market host receives 10% for maintaining the running of the market, and Neighbourhood Food itself receives 10% for the on-going maintenance and development of the website.
If you know of any other websites that connect producers with local markets, then please let us know!
Categories: Marketing opportunities. Tags: local food, local markets, on-line sales and Wales.