Oxford PhD selling veggies online, a fair intermediary directly delivering fresh flavour.
Enterprise/business philosophy and objectives of the founder
Taiwan’s agriculture is dominated by small-scale farmers, with low production yields and diversified crops. Wholesalers often lack quality assurance, and prices tend to fluctuate. Farm Direct aims to improve the lives of small-scale farmers by running an online platform for the purchase of fresh produce, implementing the concept of “low food miles” in a decentralised supply chain, providing reasonable returns to producers, and reducing carbon emissions from food deliveries. It supports food being produced and sold locally in a smallholder economy, while at the same time values food safety.
History of development/business model
Farm Direct provides an intermediary platform for fair trade between farmers and consumers by cooperating with local farmers. As soon as crops are harvested, farmers take their goods to the collection point and log online. Consumers can then go online to order their fresh produce, which is first packaged by staff, before being delivered by scooter or courier on the same day as the order is placed.
Farm Direct only services people within a 30 km range, and never transfers or sells imported products. In addition to fruit and vegetables, it also offers fresh and processed products. The production environments and planting or fishing methods of all goods are first determined in order to confirm that pesticides or additives have not been used and to ensure health and safety before cooperation begins.
Creating social value/mitigating social problems
Farm Direct reminds people to respect the natural environment, as well as promotes the sustainable development of agriculture. For farmers, Farm Direct provides a safe and stable channel and reasonable prices, so that livelihoods are guaranteed. For consumers, a variety of agricultural products from different professional farmers who have grown and taken responsibility for their goods, and Farm Direct’s checks for pesticides or other food additives, means that food health and safety is guaranteed. At the same time, consumers can use the simple act of purchasing goods to support a smallholder economy and reduce carbon emissions.