A new online food directory linking customers with agricultural producers is seeing more at-home consumers showing an interest in learning more about where their fresh produce comes from and expanding their taste palates.
‘Straight To The Source’ Marketing Director, Monique Emmi says the site will allow direct connections between consumers, procurement officers or businesses looking to source that product.
"Our main consumers have traditionally been foodservice, but is rapidly growing to include consumers who want to know about supporting local producers; and know the who, what, why and where of how to source local and seasonal produce," she said. "We also keep our audience informed and educated on agricultural and horticultural research and development, innovation, emerging industries and relevant content through latest news articles and stories published on our platform and available through our Electronic Direct Mail (EDM)."
The website already consists of a number of fruit and vegetable producers, including Moonacres Farm, Longview Garlic, Darling Mills Farm, Owl Farm Braidwood, Argyle Saffron, Eladnelle Saffron, ALTO Olives, Bunyip Hollow (fresh indigenous ingredients), Black Barley Australia and Brother Mountain Macadamias.
"The directory will support both primary and artisan producers," Ms Emmi said. "With an increased demand for locally sourced produce, the site is a go-to for finding these products. It is still growing and we are in conversation with many fresh producers at the moment. It gives the growers direct access to potential buyers and their brand advocates. We are a conduit to help connect growers to buyers – wholesale and retail."
Users will be able to peruse a brand’s ‘profile’, giving them detailed product information, contact details and stockists. But the site is not a marketplace, rather the online platform is a destination for growers to be found and for buyers to connect with them.
"Within our business, we also offer a portfolio of consultancy services to producers to assist them in New Product Development (NPD), packaging, recipes, distribution strategy, marketing and communications, and getting products in front of new customers," Ms Emmi said. "Helping producers promote their brand and build brand awareness is a big focus of our site. Branded fruit and veg is better aligned to directory members."
One of the directory's clients Lee Towle, from Longview Garlic in New South Wales’ Southern Tablelands says this service provides an unparalleled market connection.
“This is more than a directory for me," she said. "The Straight To The Source team is helping producers gain access to markets that they’d like to connect to. Knowing my brand will be seen by the people that matter, and having a network of influential experts at my disposal who are dedicated to bridging the gap between producers, chefs and consumers, is invaluable.”