Erika Block knows all about supply and demand.
She noticed an incredible supply of fresh, locally grown produce in her hometown of Ann Arbor, Michigan and at almost the same time she became aware of an explosive demand for local farm produce. Ms. Block intuitively knew folks wanted locally grown food, but visiting a weekday farmers market was next to impossible for many. The opportunity she saw was putting produce with people. So she founded Local Orbit.
Here’s how PopTech describes her idea:
Erika Block founded Local Orbit to connect local farmers with chefs, institutions and consumers. Her online platform provides marketing, sales, logistics and inventory management for food hubs, farmers, and community groups. The result is a scalable system that makes healthy, locally produced food both affordable and accessible to everyone.
Every week, producers post their inventory online and buyers can shop online. Within 24 hours, farmers deliver the orders to hub sites. Here the orders are assembled and packed, buyers can pick up their orders or have them delivered. Local Orbit charges a small, flat rate percentage on each transaction. No fees are charged to buyers or to farmers for listing.
Once you hear the idea it’s pretty simple; Local Orbit is re-configuring the food chain to make fresh, local food widely available and easy to buy.
Erika Block is tackling one of the thorniest issues surrounding local food: distribution.
And, to say the least, she’s succeeding. Her ideas may well become the template upon which the distribution question is eventually solved.
This video originally appeared on PopTech.org.
Would you buy produce with this process if it was available to you?
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