Australia Post’s launched a pilot ‘paddock to plate’ venture is called Farmhouse Direct and combines things successfully with the other AusPost delivery network. The promise of the service is to connect “you directly to the best local produce” and make local farmers markets and “artisan” produce an everyday experience.
The pilot program is reported to have started out as a collaboration with the Victorian Farmers’ Markets Association and was successful enough to lead to a national roll-out involving 70 producers and 680 products. There is sufficient confidence that it will continue to grow and that confidence is shown by Australia Post having set up a website – at farmhousedirect.com.au – where farmers set up shop for free and set their own prices. Quoted is that “Users can explore the website by region, product, produce and even by local farmers markets like the Flemington Farmers Market to order online. Farmers prepare the shipments, which are either picked up by Australia Post from the farmer or handed in to a depot, and Australia Post looks after the delivery.”
CO2Land org accepts that this is an interesting project that has the hallmarks of being a success. Not just a number improvement, but a innovation with a low risk and excellent opportunity for farmers to be better off in the market space. It is a genuine attempt to move with the times – without a huge price tag in setup costs. Keep you eye out for the official launch of the program not to far off, and expected sometime in 2012.