The REKO Ring, a Swedish concept that originated in the early 2010s, has been gaining popularity in America as a way to directly connect small-scale farmers and producers with consumers.
What are REKO Rings?
REKO Rings, which stands for “fair consumption” in Finnish. are online communities where local producers can sell their goods directly to consumers through organized group sales.
One of the main goals of REKO Rings is to provide a more direct and transparent food system, as it allows consumers to purchase products directly from the people who grew or produced them. This helps to build relationships and trust between the producer and consumer, and also allows for a more transparent pricing system.
The REKO Ring model is a great example of the farm-to-consumer movement, which aims to bring together local producers and consumers in a direct and transparent food system.
Activities of a REKO Ring
In a REKO Ring, farmers and producers sell their goods directly to consumers through organized group sales, either online or in person at a designated location.
The specific activities that take place within a REKO Ring can vary, but they typically involve the following steps:
- Producers post information about their products and availability in the REKO Ring online group or on a website.
- Consumers browse the offerings and place orders for the products they want to purchase.
- Producers prepare the orders and arrange for pickup or delivery to the consumers.
- Consumers pay the producers directly for the products they have purchased.
In addition to these basic steps, REKO Rings may also organize events or gatherings where producers can showcase their products and interact with consumers in person. Some REKO Rings also offer educational opportunities, such as workshops or farm tours, to help consumers learn more about the products and farming practices of the producers in their community.
Overall, the goal of a REKO Ring is to create a direct and transparent food system that connects small-scale farmers and producers with consumers in a way that supports the local food system and economy.
The REKO Ring System in America
The REKO Rings in America is similar to the concept that originated in Sweden, with the goal of connecting small-scale farmers and producers with consumers through organized group sales. In America, REKO Rings are typically established in a specific geographic region, and they bring together producers and consumers within that region.
In the United States, REKO Rings have been established in various locations, including states such as Michigan, New York, and Colorado. These REKO Rings operate in a similar way to those in Sweden, with producers posting information about their products and availability, and consumers placing orders for the products they want to purchase.
In Utah Local Chow is spearheading the growth of REKO Rings in the state and across different states in the country through its platform that allows a group of farmers within a particular geographic location to form a REKO Ring and also invite customers within that location to the group so they can get frequent updates and buying opportunities.
One of the main goals of REKO Rings in America is to promote a more sustainable and transparent food system and to support small-scale farmers and producers in their communities. By connecting consumers directly with the people who grew or produced their food, REKO Rings can help to strengthen the local food system and economy.
It is worth noting that the REKO Ring system in America is still in the early stages of development, and the specific structure and operation of REKO Rings may vary from location to location. However, the overall goal of promoting a more direct and transparent food system remains the same.
Benefits of Joining a REKO Ring
There are several benefits of joining a REKO Ring for both farmers and customers.
For farmers, some of the main benefits of joining a REKO Ring include
- Increased profits: By selling their products directly to consumers, farmers are able to bypass traditional distribution channels and potentially earn higher profits.
- Direct communication with customers: REKO Rings allows farmers to communicate directly with their customers, which can help to build relationships and trust. It also gives farmers the opportunity to educate their customers about their products and farming practices.
- Greater control over pricing: In a REKO Ring, farmers have more control over the pricing of their products, which can help to ensure that they are being fairly compensated for their work.
For customers, some of the main benefits of joining a REKO Ring include
- Access to high-quality, locally-grown products: REKO Rings offer customers the opportunity to purchase fresh, locally-grown products directly from the farmers and producers who grew or produced them.
- Fair pricing: REKO Rings can help to ensure that customers are paying a fair price for the products they purchase, as the pricing is more transparent and directly controlled by the producers.
- Support for small-scale farmers and producers: By purchasing products through a REKO Ring, customers can directly support small-scale farmers and producers in their community, strengthening the local food system and economy.
- Greater transparency: REKO Rings offer a more direct and transparent food system, which can help customers to feel more connected to the source of their food and to have a greater understanding of how it was produced.
The REKO Ring model has proven successful in Sweden and many parts of Europe, and it is now being implemented in various locations across America.
As the REKO Ring continues to gain popularity in America, it has the potential to revolutionize the way we think about and access local, sustainably-grown products, and it will surely foster the farm-to-consumer movement in America.