In short, the food basket, also called the farmer's basket, is a customized basket of local agricultural products for daily individual consumption, which is put together by a center of coordination, with crops from a number of local farms. This center matches the needs of consumers with the local producers. It is a flat decentralized organization. It uses the new technology to coordinate the production by helping farmers decide on the type of crops and on quantities, in accordance to market demands. It manages inventories, by coordinating output from farmers with the distribution towards consumers. It acts as a virtual store, where consumers can customize their purchases according to their individual needs. It offers various payment modalities and convenient delivery.
The food basket is a complete product, put together through collaboration. Within this network local farmers can specialize, enhancing quality and increasing their productivity. The value of every farmer's product comes in part from the completeness of the final collaborative product, the basket.
In its form presented here, the food basket will not replace the established methods of food production and distribution, but it constitutes an alternative to them. Apart from competing with agricultural verticals, this alternative helps in establishing a culture of collaboration and sustainability.
There exist several types of Internet carpooling sites where drivers can get in contact with travelers that share the same route and arrange to travel together, and to share the costs. The logistics of this sort of operation have already been solved, and these matching systems, including reputation mechanisms, payment modalities, etc. are now fully automated. Our idea is to combine the carpooling system with the food basket system, in order to insure transportation of low quantities, on short to medium distances, at lower costs, for the local and small producers.
See more here.
Moving Food: How Farmers and Nonprofits Are Building Localized Food Systems for the Twenty-First Century
Prepared by: Mandy Davis and Sona Desai
Generalized Food Basket concept: Farm Share, Food Systems Network
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