Farm vending machines: bypass the middleman
In my neighborhood, the last couple of years vending machines next to farms are popping up like mushrooms.
First were the potato vending machines because there has been a long tradition of buying potatoes in bulk from farms. Both farmers and consumers are better of: farmers get much higher prices, consumers get cheaper prices and a fresher products and the product is 24/7 available.
Next came the strawberry, tomato, cherry, apple, honey, .... vending machines and again were both farmers and consumers better off. Not only because of a better price and fresher product but they also get the chance to avoid these ridiculous demands from supermarket concerning size, color, form, ... for the products. The strawberry vending machine around the corner not only offers boxes with perfectly shaped premium strawberry's but also the one who tasted as good but are crooked at half the price.
Last weekend I was going for a hike in the neighborhood and I noticed a sign 'fresh milk'. I was curious, decided to follow the arrows and ended up at a small wooden blockhouse next to a farm. To my surprise I saw a 'milk vending machine' with ice cold untreated fresh milk. That's a new one... The milk cost 0,10 euro / 0.10l. You can use your own bottle or you can buy a plastic bottle for 0,5 euro in a vending machine.
I'm used to drinking treated supermarket milk and I love this machine. Milk is so much tastier and the result is so much better if you use it for cooking and baking.
I hope this direct purchase trend will keep developing. It's a win win for everyone: higher income for farmers, cheaper prices for consumers, fresher products, less transportation impact on the environment and the possibility to simulate the local economy instead of buying strawberry's from Spain, apples from New Zealand, tomato's from Italy and milk from Germany.