In a brilliant little scheme that uses technology to more directly marry supply with demand, the Greek 'become a farmer' scheme gives produce growers a guaranteed demand and gives buyers cheap fresh food. A good move considering their current predicament.
The Guardian reports on a new scheme run by Dimitris Koutsolioutsos at www.gineagrotis.gr that lets investors rent patches of farmland from farmers, order what they want grown on it then have the produce delivered to them weekly within 24 hours of being harvested.
Koutsolioutsos says that he wants to disrupt the market by making a more direct connection between producer and consumer with the added benefit of reduced costs for all concerned.
On top of this, if the customer is away they can elect to have the food delivered to a charity instead. And if the estimated 70% saving is borne through then this would not hurt the consumer too much in the pocket.
To further bond the connection Koutsolioutsos also insists on investors visiting the land they will be renting out.
Just consider what normally happens to our food. It gets grown and sold to supermarkets at cut-throat prices. It is then transported to the shops where it is stored and displayed, possibly via other warehouses. That takes a lot of fuel, time and manpower. Then there's the huge amount of food that is wasted by supermarkets, which is of course paid for by you the consumer.
You then jump in the car and go to the supermarket taking up your time and costing you in fuel to buy the goods. As most people will get their fresh produce from supermarkets then these visits have to be quite frequent.
But if our fresh veg (and maybe other perishable goods) was delivered cheaply to our doors directly from the supplier with no other costs involved, then maybe we would only need to visit the supermarket once a month to stock up on packaged goods.
Savings for you and me. Is there an entrepreneur out there willing to give it a go in the UK?