That juicy orange took quite a journey from the citrus grove to your kitchen, and Australia Post wants to share its story with you.
A new program called Farmhouse Direct will allow consumers to virtually meet Australian farmers, check out their operations, and buy produce straight from an online farmer’s market.
With the nation’s largest delivery network – Australia Post is responsible for delivering five billion items to 10.9 million addresses each year – the pilot program gives local farmers a much-expanded opportunity to connect with and grow their customer base.
“It's silly not to get involved. As growers we are desperate to get a better price for the 2000 tonnes of fruit we produce each year,” said Fresh Citrus Direct farmer Tim Arnold to the Daily Telegraph. “Our margins are squeezed in the traditional routes.”
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The program requires that farmers prepare their products for shipment and drop them off at a nearby depot, or Australia Post will pick it up and then deliver the items to households across Australia.
The straight-to-consumers tactic is a benefit to farmers. “Though this is more work, it gets us a bigger percentage of the sale price,” said Mr Arnold.
The products available in the online market extend further than produce: pick up handmade soaps, dairy items, coffee, sweets, olive oil, spices and even wine directly from the producers.
“These days it's important to set up an online presence and we are helping some of the local smaller businesses do that at no cost. The producers are the heroes,” said Australia Post communications manager Melanie Ward to the Daily Telegraph.
The program started this year in partnership with the Victorian Farmers’ Markets Association, but it is expected to officially launch nationwide by this year’s end.