Over the years, one of the biggest challenges faced by farmers globally is how to sell farm produce directly to customers. This is usually a result of a plethora of factors that include;
- The perishability of farm produce. The longer it takes to sell the product, the more likely it will spoil and have to be thrown out.
- Storage problems; poor space to store products until they are sold.
- Middlemen hijacking produce and selling them at higher rates to the customers. Etc.
However, with the introduction and proliferation of e-commerce and other online buying activities, these challenges are slowly being addressed. One of the solutions this innovation has brought is the REKO ring model.
If you’re a farmer looking to sell your products directly to customers, REKO is the platform for you!
What is a REKO ring?
A REKO ring is an online marketplace where farmers can sell their produce directly to customers. The concept behind REKO rings is simple: connecting local farms and food producers with customers within their geographical area on a single platform to make transactions.
As a farmer, you don’t have to go through wholesalers or retailers to sell your product, so no middleman is taking their cut. This is great news for you because it means you can keep more of your profits! And it’s great news for consumers because they can buy local food at competitive prices, and feel good knowing that they’re supporting local farmers—and keeping dollars circulating in their community instead of going overseas or being gobbled up by corporate giants.
In the U.S., REKO rings have gained popularity as people seek out local and sustainable food sources, as well as transparent and direct ways of shopping for their groceries, and more farmers are beginning to start REKO rings in their different locations.
Starting a REKO ring
Starting a REKO ring is simple. Although traditionally operated on Facebook groups, new platforms have been developed to address some of the challenges faced in administering this system in a Facebook group. One of these platforms is the Local Chow mobile app.
Local Chow is a free-to-use online platform that allows farmers to connect with other farmers within their local environment as well as their customers to sell and buy fresh farm products.
It allows you to manage your REKO ring more efficiently, from anywhere, at any time with a free-to-use platform that allows you to;
- Manage your vendors directly within the app, making it easy for you to add or remove producers as needed.
- Get more orders from customers by allowing them to place orders and buy goods in a single payment.
- Get fast in-app notifications of purchases.
- Reduce administrative work by up to 80%.
- Easily share your unique in-app REKO ring link on Social Media to show customers where they can go to easily make purchases. Etc.
Anyone can start a new REKO ring, and anyone can join one.
To start your own REKO ring, simply download the app, create an account, and then follow the step-by-step instructions to get started. There are no costs involved in starting and maintaining a REKO ring.
The REKO rings model has proven to be successful across Europe and even here in the states.
If you’re a farmer or other food producer, REKO is a great way to connect with customers and sell your products directly to them. You’ll save time, energy, and money by cutting out the middleman. The Local Chow REKO platform makes it easy to get started with setting up your ring.