A Free Sales and Delivery Model for Hampshire
Burntwood Farm (www.burntwoodfarm.co.uk) and Worthy Earth (www.worthy-earth.co.uk) are proud to announce a new initiative for the year 2022 to radically improve the way that ethical food is bought and sold in the local area. This new model involves establishing a collective of food producers and customers in an online group known as a “REKO” ring - an abbreviation for “fair consumption” in Finnish, its country of origin.
REKO is essentially an independent marketplace between local people and local food producers, which replaces the unsustainable supply chains we too often come to rely on. By using a social media group to match up with local producers, customers can benefit from access to a broad range of higher-quality, local food products - meat, vegetables, eggs, preserves and milk; and producers can charge fair prices without middlemen cuts or hidden supermarket fees.
This model has already enjoyed great success in Scandinavia and is spreading over the world, creating a supportive economic environment for small-scale, ethical food production. The REKO model increases the supply of local, higher-quality food alternatives, benefiting customers who are conscious about where their food comes from. It is a grassroots sales model that benefits everyone involved and the environment - let us explain briefly how it works.
A Facebook group is created between a collective of local food producers. Ours is called ‘REKO Ring (Hampshire, UK)’. Group rules are created to ensure that all producers meet these shared standards, and customers are given transparency on what these are.
Local customers are invited to join this Facebook group (which can also be an email list if you don’t have an account, sign up at www.holisticland.co.uk/reko ). Members of the group are notified by the producers each week as to what products are available and their prices. Members of the group can then go to the producers’ website and order their products, choosing ‘REKO’ as the delivery option.
A weekly collection point and time is established where all producer-members of the group bring their pre-sold products to customers who have already reserved and bought them. Customers can therefore collect products bought from different producers at the same time in the same place, reducing time spent on the transaction for both parties.
This means producers can get back to their farm duties quickly and customers can resume their lives with a car boot full of fresh, ethical, local produce without the hassle of parking in the middle of town for a market, or having the dehumanising experience of going to a supermarket.
Producers and customers are therefore able to meet face-to-face and engage in an old-fashioned style of commerce, without directly handing over money, yet empowered by modern social technology. We can all agree that social media platforms like Facebook are on the whole boring, and a waste of our attention. But, if they can be used for the purposes of organising more efficient, shorter food supply chains within our local area, they can be used as a general force of good in the world, restoring power to local people and food producers alike.
Our first REKO Ring will be at 10-11am on Saturday 29th January in Area 8 (1st left after entrance), East Winchester Park & Ride (St Catherine’s), Garnier Rd, Winchester, SO23 9NP, w3w: farmer.richer.unafraid.
Thank you especially to Winchester City Council and Hampshire Fare for their support. We can’t wait to see you there!
Through the pandemic we have laid witness to queues outside supermarkets, empty shelves and panic buying - who is to say that this is not going to recur in coming times? With REKO, we can collectively support a different way of buying food - that which is produced solely by people in the local area, in a caring and sustainable manner that reduces carbon emissions and plastic packaging associated with supermarket bought food.
It is a small, active step customers can take to make a big social impact on the future of our society - by prioritising the fundamental basis of our culture: local communities and the soil in which our food is grown.