Somerset Local Food Direct – Roger White, Manager
Somerset Local Direct was described as an extension of Somerset Farmers’
Market. This system delivers local food to approximately three hundred
customers from about sixty local producers. Typically produce is not sold ‘to
the trade’ however there are some exceptions. Produce can be ordered on-
line or by telephone; the range includes organic and conventionally produced
The main benefit of this system is that the producers have more control than
when selling through a wholesaler as they can set the price. The website acts
as the shop window and fair trade and organic fruit is also sold to encourage
the customer to shop there.
Produce needs to be ordered by 8am on a Tuesday which will be delivered on
Friday. It has been found with this model that 80% of customers pay on-line.
The minimum price for a box of produce is £15 but the average order is £45. It
is interesting that the majority of the customers are over fifty years of age.
Once collected, the produce is taken back to the warehouse in Glastonbury to
be quality checked by the drivers who are self-employed. They are also
responsible for packing the boxes for their own clients. This ensures that they
have the correct order and will deliver when convenient to the customer. It
costs an extra £3 for delivery of the produce which can be anywhere in
Somerset. Polystyrene chilled boxes are used for the deliveries and are re-
used twenty times through a return scheme before being disposed.
As a group we were ask to think about:
• How to help customers to plan and buy the weekly shop on the
Ideas varied, from linking the ordering to a calendar, suggesting
recipes, linking recipes; diet plans and other foodstuffs on the
• How to increase the number of clients particularly from the younger
• Ideas included: Advertising campaign, leaflets distributed by the
drivers. Incentive to recommend a friend - £5 credit when friend places
their first order over £30. Education days at schools to encourage
children to participate in local food and give them an opportunity to try
• Provenance of goods is improving
• There is a great need for growers to have farm assurance and hygiene
• Retail does not need ‘sexy packaging’