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Closing the Farmers Market Loop

Producers selling at Farmers' Markets like the returns generated by their direct-to-retail mode – but have a risk of unsold produce at the close of the market. Developing a subscription list of consumers who would be keen to buy surplus stock and messaging them when this is available could counter this risk.

Photo of Paul Keys
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Having talked to producers selling at my local Farmers' Market here in Timaru, New Zealand, I discovered that many have these markets as their only outlet to sell what they make. This is great for the increased returns for their goods – but there is variable and somewhat unpredictable demand – so at times they leave the market with perishable goods with no way to sell them.


Customers at Farmers' Markets have high regard for the produce they see available, and many are even evangelical in their recommendation of the things they buy there. I propose leveraging this love of local products as a trusted way to let others in the wider region know the quality of these goods and subscribe to a message service alerting them when there is a surplus. This could be coordinated through existing organisations such as the Australian Farmers' Markets Association: or Farmers' Markets NZ Inc: The local Farmers' Market organisation take responsibility for receiving the orders and dispatching, leaving the producers to get on with what they do best.


Bob the Butcher has 14 kilos of locally raised, corn-fed prime rib left over form the Sunday market which was slow this week because it was raining. That gets messaged out to subscribers (via Twitter, SMS, website, etc) at an attractive rate. They choose from various weekly deals, sometimes bundled, which they can opt to pick up or have delivered. Everyone's happy & the customers love Bob, his beef and the Farmers' Market Association even more than they did before – and can't wait to tell all their friends.


Images via Creative Commons: Francesco Pappalardo, Roger Walch, Cleber Mori and Meanest Indian.

+ a hat tip to the good folk at the Timaru Farmers' Market for sharing insights.

Evaluation results

20 evaluations so far

1. How effectively do you think that this concept reconnects food consumers and producers?

It would reconnect food consumers and producers strongly - 81%

It would somewhat reconnect food consumers and producers  - 14.3%

It would not significantly reconnect food consumers and producers  - 4.8%

2. How scalable is this idea across communities and geographies?

This concept can be scaled across many communities  - 81%

This concept will take a fair bit of work to build and scale - 19%

This concept is not particularly scalable  - 0%

3. How quickly could this concept be impactful? 

This concept could happen today - 42.9%

This concept could happen soon with some work - 57.1%

I struggle to see this happening in a reasonable timeframe - 0%

4. How original is this concept?

This concept is extremely original - 76.2%

This concept has some original aspects - 19%

This concept already exists - 4.8%

5. Overall, how do you feel about this concept?

This concept rocked my world – it’s brilliant - 81%

I liked this concept but preferred others - 19%

This concept didn’t get me overly excited - 0%


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Photo of Fei Xin

Great ideas! I will looking forward to know more informations about that.

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