In a world wrapped up in complex supply chains, small farmers are in a catch-22. Should they sell to the supermarkets and get less cash? Or spend a lot more time and effort trying to sell directly to customers? The public, meanwhile, are torn between loyalty to local businesses and the convenience of those established supply chains.
But German farm, Peter-und-Paul-Hof, has found a solution – in the form of vending machines. After collaborating with manufacturer, Stuewer, the specially designed vending machines are in action and currently selling fresh milk, eggs, butter, cheese, potatoes and sausage in 13 German towns and communities.
Peter-und-Paul-Hof had initially been delivering milk to their customers but this was time-consuming. So they encouraged their customers to come and collect their milk from fridges on the farm. The idea worked and this was then followed up by the vending machine idea.
The Regiomat vending machines can be placed outdoors all year round as long as they’re under a roof (some have even been placed alongside hiking trails in Switzerland), effectively giving locals a 24-hour farmers’ market – and farmers a lot more free time. This modernising of the traditional farm stall benefits both farmers and local-loving consumers. And by cutting out the middleman, the system also offers potential savings over retail stores.