It is pretty trite to point out, again, that the reason businesses survive is to satisfy customers.

In fresh produce markets, this has been pretty much forgotten as the share of the consumers dollar that ends up in the farmers pockets has progressively dropped over the last 50 years from around 50% to now 10% for the lucky ones.

This is below in many cases the cost of production, so there goes food security, at least at the prices we have become used to!

This squeezing of farmers has evolved as retailers have built scale, and managed their logistics to deliver margin from produce, and consumers have favored convenience and price over product “eatability”.

Now however, it may be that the worm is turning.

Some consumers, certainly a marketable proportion, are turning back to favour freshness, product provenance, and taste, and are finding those characteristics in farmers markets, direct home delivery, and the few specialist retailers who have survived. These consumers are driving the evolution of a transparent “demand chain” which is putting some leverage back into the hands of farmers, if they can figure out how to remove the impediments to transparency,  and the ticket clippers who inhabit the chain. 

The tools of the web are slowly turning the supply chain of old into a demand chain, a supply process that responds to consumer demand, preferences, and habits. Farmers being able to communicate with those who consume their produce, and respond accordingly disappeared when we moved en masse to the cities, as no longer were we living in the small communities that enabled the communication.

Now however, that ability is back, so use it, and eat better!