Watch the video for a short explanation of the order process and a quick view of the site.
Producers can take a part of their production capacity to the Queensland Local Food Exchange (Qld-LoFE). By registering, they commit to delivering the registered amount to potential buyers. The listing will have two prices: the pick-up-at-farm price, and the deliver-it-home price, which will include a transportation fee.
Consumers can buy food at current prices, which, as said, will vary with supply and demand. They can choose to buy a certain amount of ‘strawberries’ or ‘strawberries form producer X’.
Also, consumers will have the opportunity of buying food futures. With this, they buy a certain amount of food to be delivered in the future after harvesting. Take for example asparagus. They're in-season (in North-West Europe) from the end of April until the end of June. I know in September already, that I would definitely want some. I could secure getting them by buying a food future for 10 kg (I love asparagus), which ensures me that I will get them when they're in season. Maybe even with a spread of 2 kg in April, 4 kg in May and 4 kg in June. This would also enable the producer to predict demand and produce (and invest) accordingly. (Thanks Kirk Soderstrom for inspiring this build).
Restaurants (including school and office cantines) can also become buyers at the Qld-LoFE. However, since their access will mean a pressure on the price, they will have a special access requirement: they need to provide recipes for in-season products so that consumers can learn ow to use the different foods available on the Qld-LoFE. Also, restaurants can become pick-up places for consumers that live near-by. Consumers can choose a restaurant as a pick-up place, and will have a lowered delivery price. (Thanks Johan Löfström for the builds.)
The Qld-LoFE will connect consumers directly to producers by having the option to pick up the produce at the site of the producers. Also, by giving the option to buy from a specific farm, will make it worth knowing which producer has the best suitable products. This comes also with a rating system for producers. First of all, the rating of a producer should include satisfied customers. After a purchase, customers are asked to rate the producer. This is similar to how the rating system at eBay works. Another part of the rating could be 'liked' or 'favorited' producers. Anytime a consumer 'likes' a producer, or selects one as preferred supplier of a specific order, this should translate back into the rating of the producer. Combined, maybe with other factors, this should be comparable to the DQ we know from OpenIDEO. (Thanks Vincent Cheng for reminding me to put this in and the great input for it).
Transparency in pricing will also be a benefit of the Qld-LoFE. Consumers will see from the price difference between pick-up-at-farm and deliver-it-home what the costs of transportation are, and can be motivated to pool resources with neighbours by picking their supplies up together (carpooling 2 food). When a consumer purchases a produce and is linked to a place of pick-up, she will get a notice that indicates that friends are also buying from the same producer (or one very close to him), and an option to pool resources is given. The buyer can send a carpool 2 food request to the friends in question. (Thanks Sarah Fathallah for the build). Another benefit of the price transparency is that if a certain product is in high demand, the price will be high, which might motivate buyers to find an alternative. Either in product or producer.