As a farmer, she wanted to come up with the most effective way to sell produce to commercial outlets. Having had first-hand experience sourcing local produce for a large event made her keenly aware of the need to make it easier and less time-consuming for commercial foodies to access fresh food.
“The motivation for Farmer Meets Foodie was simple: getting local produce on the plate, reducing food miles and having the story behind how food was grown known to those who are eating it,” Erica said. An innovative initiative by North Queensland farmer Erica Hughes is set to revolutionise the paddock-to-plate experience for farmers, commercial foodies and consumers.
Erica is behind Farmer Meets Foodie, an online application that connects producers directly with restaurants, cafes and commercial food outlets that want fresh, local produce. The web-based app will allow people to search or advertise products in their preferred location, bridging the gap between fresh produce and the consumer.
“There is currently a huge interest in the paddock-to-plate concept, however, from a commercial foodies’ point of view, this is not always easy to achieve.” Erica said. “Farmers and chefs are both time poor and very busy making amazing food, so this app will be a very efficient way for them to connect directly.
“Never has the consumer been so interested in where their produce comes from and how it is produced. They want to know what’s in their food and how it was grown, while visitors to the region want to taste and experience local produce.”
Thanks to the backing from the Queensland Government’s Ignite Ideas Fund, the web- based app is currently in its testing stages and is expected to launch in early 2018. Initially it will include the region from Bowen to Cairns with plans to expand throughout the state and across Australia and will include a huge range of produce such as fruit, vegetables, coffee, tea, nuts, meat and seafood - pretty much any- thing edible that can be grown or harvested!
Erica’s passion for supporting farmers, sharing the stories behind how food is grown and supporting commercial foodies in their com- mitment to using local produce was the driving force behind Farmer Meets Foodie.
While the app is currently in the testing stage, Eric has already received widespread support from farmers and commercial foodies.
“There is no doubt in my mind that consumers are becoming more discerning in their purchasing,” said Paul Fagg, Business Development Manager for Skybury Coffee, one of Australia’s largest and most successful coffee plantations and a huge supporter of Farmer Meets Foodie.
“Not only are they looking for quality and consistency, they are demanding transparency on how produce is grown. For the producer, this trend is a tremendous opportunity to build a strong narrative around the care and passion they put into delivering quality local produce.”
The app will be on show at the inaugural National Agricultural Day November 21 2017 at the Mareeba International Club from 10am to 5pm and at Ringer’s Rest in Mareeba from 5:30pm to 9pm.
For more information email
or visit www.farmermeetsfoodie.com.au