As Australians embraced home delivery and online buying during lockdown, a new website is providing consumers with direct access to Australian producers.
Fair Foodie was launched last month, with a mission to "celebrate Australia's diverse food and beverage producers through an interactive platform, bringing farmers, chefs, providores, brewers, winemakers and other artisans together with local-loving consumers to help Australian businesses flourish".
Fair Foodie founder, Lisa Papallo, fast tracked plans to launch the service after seeing the COVID-19 restrictions and noticing farmers markets and stallholders were doing it tough.
"Shopping local is very important to me, but with the temporary closing of my local farmers market during the pandemic, I didn't have a place to purchase the usual pantry essentials I loved and that I knew were grown or made in my local area," Ms Papallo said.
"Through Fair Foodie I've been able to connect with small, independent business owners - from dairy farmers through to brewers and food truck operators - all with immense passion about the products they make, but little by way of online or bricks and mortar storefronts.
"I saw this as a new opportunity to showcase these producers all in one place, giving them the opportunity to connect with more consumers and sell their goods."
Upon its launch, the Fair Foodie platform hosted about 25 producers across NSW, Queensland, South Australia and Victoria, featuring a breadth of retailers from restaurants, food trucks, farm-fresh produce and cafes to kombucha makers, non-alcoholic spirits and baked goods.
The Fair Foodie platform allows vendors to sign up, free of charge, and create their own personalised digital shopfront.
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Each profile features images, videos, descriptions, products and pricing managed completely by the vendor.
Vendors also have the opportunity to list and promote their own events.
Ms Papallo's goal was to make the onboarding process simple for any producer without any lengthy application or approval process, regardless of how big or small the business was.
"Many of these producers may not have experience building a digital storefront, so we want to make the process as easy and quick as possible to connect them with the Fair Foodie shopper," she said.
"Rather than spending weeks or months building an expensive website, a small business can now have their own customised digital storefront within an hour."
Producers have the option of directing customers to their own web stores or, for a nominal 5 per cent processing fee, utilise Fair Foodie's secure shopping platform (powered by PayPal) for shoppers to place orders directly.
All fulfilment is managed through the vendors on the platform, giving them the freedom to choose their preferred delivery service and timeframes.
"Fair Foodie gives producers complete control over how their products are sold and delivered," Ms Papallo said.
"The control of delivery by vendors on the site ensures that no hidden charges are worn by either the producer or consumer - putting more money in producers pockets and giving these business owners a fair go."
- Interested vendors should visit fairfoodie.com.au