The Covid-19 pandemic has meant all hands on deck for AgFrontier alumni Farmer Meets Foodie.
The Farmer Meets Foodie platform, which has been connecting farmers, harvesters and producers to commercial food businesses (restaurants, cafes, grocers etc) to enable produce to be bought and sold direct in commercial quantities has pivoted since the Covid-19 pandemic has catastrophically disrupted the food industry. Farmer Meets Foodie accelerated future development plans with the site being re-released to the public as a virtual farmers market, assisting the food and hospitality sectors meet the challenges caused by this public health crisis.
The platform is now ready for home foodies to experience this new way of sourcing food direct. Home foodies are able to buy direct from farmers, producers, harvesters, growers and value adders. Having over 200 food vendors to look through makes the experience for the home foodie the next best thing to going to the markets or a food festival and offers a safe option for those who are in strict isolation.
Products on the platform to date range from fresh fruit and vegetables, beef, pork, seafood, honey, rainforest fruits and a range of value-added products. Each vendor specifies their method of getting products to their customers, the most popular methods being pick up, free local delivery and Australia Post.
Each business has their own shop front on the platform. Foodies can search by what is in their area and buy direct from that vendor with contactless payments. This is saving vendors who have been flat out with orders and deliveries having to spend hours taking and sorting payments or having to build / manage their own online shops.
Covid-19 has been a challenging time for those in food:
restaurants and cafes have had to close eat in options at short notice
some producers have had transport routes swept out from under them, without notice, leaving thousands of dollars of product stranded
others are looking to replace recently lost markets or are uncertain of how long current markets are going to be operating, and;
while others have been flat out meeting demand and trying to operate in completely different ways.
Farmer Meets Foodie aims to support these food businesses by:
providing as many new market opportunities as possible in one place, for those selling wholesale or retail quantities
providing a platform to make it easy to connect and make sales at a minimum cost to the vendor, and;
providing a platform that allows for multiple pick up, delivery or shipping options
“Covid-19 has thrown so many curve balls at the food industry, some which have had devastating results, the thing is that people still have to eat, we are aiming to make that as easy as possible for everyone”, said Farmer Meets Foodie founder Erica Hughes. Farmer Meets Foodie is now live to the general public, and open for more producers and commercial food businesses to join the 200 plus businesses that have set up shop.