Steven has several objectives: to obtain a better and fairer price for the sold products, to make his income more stable and less affected by volatility, to become less dependent on one product and increase diversification, to empower local farmers and connect them with consumers and to gain more visibility for locally created products.
Main results / outcomes
Steven recognizes the importance of strengthen the position of the primary producers in the value chain. For this reasons, he decided to reinforce the bond with the local community and he tried to make himself less vulnerable to volatility. Through vending machines, he offers high-quality products directly to the end consumers and, in fact, the prices are less volatile than actual market prices, providing him a relatively stable revenue. He also co-operates with a local miller and baker in order to create higher valued end products, which are sold via vending machines too. This is an example of local closed production system, and allows him and the other actors to have a fair and good income.
Steven sells a percentage of his production via vending machines, located in front of his farm. Next to his own products, he also buys and sells the ones of his neighboring farmers. Customers can also consume the products in front of the farm and interact with him. In addition, he invests in communication, especially on Instagram and Facebook, where consumers can give feedback and are updated about the activities Steven is doing in the farm. Selling products via vending machines could be an attractive option for EU farmers, which usually proves relatively easy to start. There is also some potential to scale up, but it is limited by the variety of sold products and the area in which these products are grown/produced.