So how do we compare … on price?
Crumbs, it hasn’t come down to that has it? Well, why not. Part of the reason we wanted to start Farmdrop was to give a fairer deal to producers and customers. If we take out middle men and build a slick process then it should be possible for the producers to get a really good price and the customers to pay a fair price.
We’re going to look at some actual prices (fruit and veg only). I’ve spent the last couple of hours copying and pasting from the Internet. This is not designed to criticise others, but it helps to put things into perspective. Before we go to the scoreboard I just wanted to spend a little bit of time reminding you the other ways we’re different, and why the playing field isn’t always level:
We’re not retailers! And let’s be clear here, the relationship is completely different between us and the producers who sell through Farmdrop, compared to others. They buy in, mark up and sell on, so they are always looking to squeeze suppliers. (It’s sort of the thing that’s fundamentally incorrect about our food industry). We don’t control anyone’s pricing!
We are a marketplace, so there’s choice. We have at least three different farmers selling their carrots. They might be called commodities, but each carrot is unique.
There are (lots of) products on Farmdrop you can’t get elsewhere. Most retailers can’t hold certain products because their loooong supply chains mean produce is chosen only because of its ability to travel and its long shelf life.
Freshness or … emptiness. Same point as above really, but speaking to a salad grower in Sussex recently, he was lamenting the fact it took 9 days for his really beautiful salad to reach the supermarket shelves. And by then all the nutritional value had drained away!
Ultra local. Some of our produce is grown from within the M25. C’mon!
Organic. Quite a few of the supermarkets (supplying millions!) simply don’t have an organic option.
Bundles. Lots of these products are available in bundles where the producer gives them at a discount.
You are not paying the full cost. Trying (and failing) not to be preachy / political here, but the health and environment costs are not being factored in to less healthy foods. The reality is that you end up paying them in taxes. Dietary related illnesses are the single biggest cost to the NHS. Let’s not even get started on the environmental costs.
So if you want to have a look at how we compare on 14 products then please have a look here. (Please let us know if you think anything’s awry - this is a start-up and we don’t have a research department, darn it).
We’ll come back with a deeper analysis, but I hope this gets the ball rolling.