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Consumers are turning to alternative distribution channels

A growing number of consumers are concerned by the tremendous power of large retail chains such as Tesco, Carrefour and Wal-Mart and the impact that they have on suppliers, local businesses and, arguably, the available choice of food and drinks. As a result, many are choosing to do a larger proportion of their food and drink shopping in alternative distribution channels such as farmers’ markets.

Farmers’ markets are growing in popularity in the US

The popularity of farmers’ markets has grown considerably across the US in the past decade. The US Department of Agriculture reports that from 1994 to 2002 the number of farmers’ markets increased by 79% to over 3,100 markets across the country. In 2000, 19,000 farmers sold their produce exclusively in this way.

Organic delivery companies are expanding their offering

Box schemes, in which local producers deliver a selection of seasonal fruits and vegetables regularly to consumers, are growing in popularity, especially for organic produce. Although still focused on fresh produce, delivery companies have now expanded to include processed goods and even home hygiene products. The Organic Delivery Company for example offers FairTrade coffee, tea and chocolate, Tradecraft raw cane sugar, cooking sauces, ready meals, organic wine and beer, as well as the Ecover and Bio-d ranges of home hygiene products.


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