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Shorter supply chains mean fresher food and lower prices. So, how do we do it? 29/01/2019, Health & Lifestyle

Every week, fresh-range delivers tons of local produce at prices that are significantly below like for like supermarket equivalents. This is how...

The fresh-range team have been learning about and developing short, fast and light food supply chains for 5 years. The entire process of managing orders between customers and producers, fulfilling the food from the producer and consolidating and delivering to the customer has been reinvented by our tech and logistics people. Our technology enables customers to buy from local producers consistent with the capabilities of the producer. This means many more producers can supply through the fresh-range platform than they otherwise could. In turn, more customers can enjoy produce from producers they couldn’t otherwise reach. It’s just one reason where barriers to entry are being removed thus enabling supply and demand to flow more freely at a local level.

In an ideal world, food supply ought to be subject to the conditions of a Perfect Market Economy. In short, this is the opposite to a Monopoly. Whilst the Perfect Market Economy is an abstract end-state that is never achieved completely in reality, it’s the right model for us to strive towards with food because it has all the aspects that would help to render the industry better for the makers and consumers of food – without doubt the two most important parties. A perfect market economy is a marketplace where there are no barriers to entry or exit for suppliers, there is freely flowing information between producers and customers where products are homogeneous - the same. As a result, demand and supply can be in balance and price is determined by the equilibrium point between demand and supply. That’s why we named the company behind fresh-range Equilibrium Markets Ltd – it was the best way to describe how we were planning to achieve our company purpose of developing food security for generations to come.

It is essential to ‘communicate value’ to the customer at the first moment of truth - that is when customers first make the buying decision to purchase a product (the second moment of truth being when the customer uses the product). The oligopolistic market conditions British mass supermarkets operate in does not result in an equilibrium price rather a price that is set by the supermarket. So, logically, at a macro-economic level at least, we should be able to beat supermarket prices wherever we establish short, direct supply chains.

To prove it, our tech team built a price comparison feature on the fresh-range store. This technology enables us to conduct price spot checks on products where we have established short supply chains - products with the fresh-range stamp - where we’re delivering food direct from the source. It means, every week, our customers can choose to buy local food at substantially lower prices than at their mass supermarket of choice. From free-range chicken (up to 48% lower price) to organic vegetables (up to 46% lower price), sourdough breads (up to 36% lower price) to smoked salmon (at least 40% lower price), we’re beating supermarket prices on many products week in week out.

Now, we don’t beat supermarket prices on all products and neither do we claim to. But, we do make it clear where the lower price products are so that our customers can optimise savings if that’s what they wish to do. That said, we’re determined to form more and more short, fast, light supply chains in each region of the UK across all food and drink categories. Doing this will bring more and more value to both producers and food consumers right across the UK: Producers earn a far higher % of the retail price paid and customers save money too. Indeed, we’ve been working with the British government to help them revolutionise public sector food procurement by applying a dynamic food procurement approach in each region of the UK. Read more about this here.

So, when you’re browsing the fresh-range store enjoying the feeling of choosing fresher foods at lower prices, spare a thought for Vassil and Fiona – two team members that are major contributors to the fresh-range price spot check technology. Big thanks guys.

Rich Osborn
Director, fresh-range