Home delivery of local products
In rural areas from the UK, Portugal, Italy to Romania, initiatives for distributing food directly from the producers to the costumers’ homes are taking place. The initial aim has often been to maintain an active production in order to adapt to current challenges. By receiving deliveries to the door, inhabitants are exposed to lesser risks. This is both a way to ensure the health of vulnerable inhabitants but also an action to strengthen local production and entrepreneurs. For elderly and vulnerable groups this action can be a local lifesaver.
The action of food delivery has taken different shapes depending on where it has been initiated and the kind of local entrepreneurs, producers, and farmers. In the community of Machynlleth in Wales, the question of adapting has been focused on finding ways for local businesses to cooperate to jointly reach and maintain their costumers. This covers all kinds of local entrepreneurs from bookstores to bakeries. On the other hand, in the region of Campania, the aim has been to create a network for mainly dairy producers.
In some areas, the initiative has come from networks of local farmers while in others with regional authorities. In Romania and the county of Harghita, the initiative came from the County Council and is executing by its subordinated institution, the Development Agency of Harghita County. The result has been a platform named ‘Szekler products’ where the customer can order directly from local farmers and entrepreneurs. In other areas and depending on the promoter, lists of the orders are received either online or via mail. In Campania, contact has been made and orders placed via Facebook directly to the local farmer. The same goes for the geopark Arouca where the Facebook page has also been the main way to reach out to the costumers. Here the geopark publishes a list of all available products through the week. The inhabitants than place an order via email or phone and the delivery is arranged jointly.
This action should be adapted to the local needs. The replicable aspect is the rural businesses adapted to the crises and find new ways to reach their customers. Either as joint action to strengthen local networking but also for individual entrepreneurs to continue their work.