At a meeting last year with growers in Sussex we met a conventional salad grower. He was growing on a pretty industrial scale and he was one of the success stories of the supermarkets. But he wasn’t happy with his lot.
“It takes 9 days for my salads to get from here to the shelves of the supermarkets. I’m trying to grow beautiful and tasty salads, but the system works against us and consumers. When they get their hands on the food there’s virtually no nutritional content left”.
This gets to the heart of how Farmdrop works. By taking out unnecessary links in the supply chain we do a number of things; but perhaps the most immediate is that we bring people fresher food.
With Farmdrop a producer picks your order the day or night before you receive it, and it comes from them on the same day.
With supermarkets – and all other retailers – the farmer’s crops will have a much longer journey. Their first visit is generally to a packing house. Here’s where the produce might be graded, sorted, washed, cosmetically checked and packaged. From here, in chilled conditions, the food moves to a wholesaler or to a retailer’s CDC (Central Distribution Centre). And then to a regional distribution centre. And then the retailer (the shop) where people buy the produce.
It’s a pretty exhausting journey for the poor fruit and vegetables.
This is also where the tail wags the dog. Our food and what we are given to eat does not get decided by what’s tastiest or what we want. It’s decided by what can last the journey! Strawberries are a classic example. The supermarkets are filled with row upon row of a variety called Elsanta. It looks the part, there are no fraying edges, but sadly there’s zilch in the yum department.
Farmdrop does things more logically. We bring food direct from source – varieties picked for their taste in peak condition! It has been hard in the past few months (read our piece on the hungry gap), but we’re finding more and more produce that we can provide during this time, and in doing so, we can help reacquaint customers with a truly better class of fruit and veg.