Produce on demand: Valmiera heads Latvia toward new type of market

A year ago, in March, a new form of direct trade was launched in Valmiera: a REKO market. It is based on previous orders carried out by the buyer on social networks, but the farmer or the home producer distributes the product to customers on a given day and hour. What are the conclusions after the first year of operation? Latvian Radio spoke to the market representatives on March 27.

"We are from Priekuļi! Now, mostly, we get orders for microgreens today, and then preserves from the winter," said Ruanda Dembovska, owner of the family holding Lieloga. Goods are already packaged with the name of each customer on them.  "I've got that sort of order, I'm used to it and I'm comfortable with it. Everything is predictable, people have made an order, you bring it and give it, and everything is understandable how much you need to produce, people are cool."

One of the principles of this market is not to waste time for both parties, the buyer and the seller. A farmer or a home producer, particularly during the planting or harvest season, holds time very valuable.

“I'm satisfied, people order, come, take.”

“We're here from the beginning, I can't complain, the fact that everything is together, doesn't have to be brought to the customers anymore, now all the customers come here.”

Buyers have also estimated that this type of shopping saves time.

“Easy, order what you want, come and take! Prices are friendly.”

“Fresh produce! We're satisfied, we've been coming here all year.”

 

Guna Ķibere, a business promotion specialist at Valmiera municipality, said that deciding on the introduction of this type of trade in Valmiera was influenced by the desire to bring the farmer and the residents together.

"The good thing is that it is the buyer who can make sure that he or she buys our goods directly, that it has not been imported from abroad, that it has not been purchased but grown just here, in our Valmiera municipality, or in neighboring farms, or in home-producer kitchens. You can order products of interest through the Facebook platform and come here for your package, it doesn't take much time.

"For the farmer, the positive is that they bring exactly as much production as is ordered, they don't have to cut all the lettuce in the greenhouse, they can count on the amount of order," Ķibere said.

“This idea has been seen in Scandinavia, where these REKO markets have been working for many years, but maybe Scandinavians have more money, maybe they are more used to consuming eco-products, so maybe these markets in Scandinavia have been easier and faster, but we are at the beginning of this path,” Ķibere said.

At the moment, there is no concern that the market in Valmiera could dwindle.

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