Fairdirect shipment centers offer combined shipment. Baker, butcher, fruit and vegetable farmers etc. all have a limited range of products individually, but a broad range together. With Fairdirect shipment centers, this broad product range becomes comfortably and efficiently available to customers, just as if offered from just a single supplier. Benefits for customers include:
- E-commerce customers can get all goods they shopped online from within the same local area delivered together, reducing shipment costs dramatically by requiring just one parcel. In many cases, this is a necessity for e-commerce of food via parcel service to become feasible.
- Regional customers can get a fresh delivery of fruits and vegetables from a farmers market on market day. In this case, the farmers market takes on the additional role of a Fairdirect shipment center.
- Wholesale customers (on the dedicated wholesale area of the Epelia marketplace) profit from the option to assemble a pallet of products to import from the combined product range of all sellers in a region (e.g. Calabria in south Italy). By requiring just one shipment, transport is much cheaper.
We envision the following types of shipment centers:
Fairdirect Farmers Markets
A Fairdirect farmers market guarantees great food products directly from their producers. Because all products here are evaluated by Fairdirect, customers can judge at a glimpse how fair the production of each product is. This way, a farmers market gets back the original flair and character of farmers markets. And by combining it with modern marketing technology, farmers market obtain new opportunities:
- Customers will be able to take a look online at the products and special offers that will be available on the next market day.
- Customers can add the add the farmers market products to a personal grocery list, pre-order them, and even order them online for regional delivery on market day.
- Wholesale customers, for example gastronomy businesses, can order fresh products for fresh local delivery, using the wholesale-only section of the marketplace to get volume discounts. All items will be delivered in one shipment.
- If you don’t want to transport your groceries home yourself, you can use the transport service offered by all Fairdirect farmers markets.
- Optionally, a Fairdirect farmers market can offer drive-in for pickup of items pre-ordered online, also after the market closed.
These are shelves with Fairdirect products that any shop owner can install in her or his shop. Producers sell directly via these shelves. The shop owner selects a product range in collaboration with the producers, and is paid a sales commission by producers.
By installing a Fairdirest shelf, shop owners show their commitment to promoting quality food that is traded fairly and produced under good social and ethical conditions. Obviously, it is a means to distinguish oneself from the competition.
Payment of these products in the shop happens with a register that scans the QR code on the Fairdirect label and updates stock levels on the Epelia online marketplace. This allows producers to inspect their stock levels on their different Fairdirect shelves and to re-stock as required, and it allows to provide a normal invoice from the producer to in-shop customers. It is generated automatically, using the same software function that generates these invoices when ordering online.
Since stock levels are always up to date online, online orders from Fairdirect shelves in parallel to in-shop purchases are possible. In effect, the shelf is also a shipment center: all products on it can be ordered online and will arrive in one combined shipment.
Taking the idea of Fairdirect shelves a step further, these are complete brick-and-mortar shops operated by groups of Fairdirect producers. They sell to customers in the shop and at the same time operate as a shipment center. Just as with Fairdirect shelves, this combination is made possible by using a register that scans the QR codes on Fairdirect labels and updates stock levels on the online marketplace Epelia.
The costs of operating the shop are automatically distributed to all producers selling in it, in proportion to their sales volumes each month. In total, this makes a joint direct sales scheme possible where it is not required for each sellers to be present all the time, unlike on farmers markets for example.