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A digital platform that connects local producers with consumers has just been launched. Fair Foodie is the result of Lisa Papallo wanting to help local and regional food producers struggling due to COVID-19 restrictions.

The platform is open to farmers, food manufacturers, chefs, providores, brewers, wine makers and other artisan producers across the country.

Papallo said: “Shopping local is very important to me, but with the temporary closing of my local farmers market during the pandemic, I didn’t have a place to purchase the usual pantry essentials I loved and that I knew were grown or made in my local area.

“Through Fair Foodie I’ve been able to connect with small, independent business owners – from dairy farmers through to brewers and food truck operators – all with immense passion about the products they make, but little by way of online or bricks and mortar storefronts. I saw this as a new opportunity to showcase these producers all in one place, giving them the opportunity to connect with more consumers and sell their goods.”

The Fair Foodie platform allows vendors to sign up, free of charge, and create their own personalised digital shopfront.

Each profile features images, videos, descriptions, products and pricing managed completely by the vendor. Vendors also have the opportunity to list and promote their own events.

“Many of these producers may not have experience building a digital storefront, so we want to make the process as easy and quick as possible to connect them with the Fair Foodie shopper. Rather than spending weeks or months building an expensive website, a small business can now have their own customised digital storefront within an hour,” Papallo said.

Companies can then direct visitors to their own web stores or, for a five per cent service fee, they can use Fair Foodie’s PayPal shop.

All fulfilment is managed through the vendors on the platform, giving them the freedom to choose their preferred delivery service and timeframes.

Papallo said it was important to ensure producers had complete control over how their products were sold and delivered.

She said: “Major delivery platforms in Australia have recently come under fire for charging upwards of thirty-five per cent commission fees to restaurants using their delivery services. And in the retail sector, stock quantities and margins required to be on the shelves of Australia’s major grocery outlets may be unattainable for most of most small, independent producers.

“By cutting out the middleman and standard shipping charges, more profit goes into the pockets of producers.

“The control of delivery by vendors on the site ensures that no hidden charges are worn by either the producer or consumer – putting more money in producers pockets and giving these business owners a fair go.”

At its launch, the platform had 25 producers across New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia and Victoria, featuring a breadth of retailers from restaurants, food trucks, farm-fresh produce and cafes to kombucha makers, non-alcoholic spirits and baked goods.

Producers across Australia are invited to join Fair Foodie to host their own digital storefront. Any business based in Australia, creating Australian goods in the food or drinks industry, are welcome to join, Papallo said.

In the coming weeks, Fair Foodie will announce its public launch, inspiring consumers to join the site and support local Australian businesses, local jobs, and their local community.

 

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