After introducing in 2011 the 24/7 postal services for parcels ordered online, the Australia Post is taking its service to another level by linking farmers and consumers.
A farmer prepares a display using strawberries and other fresh produce during the 2009 Strawberry Festival in the agricultural village of Mgarr in the north of Malta April 26, 2009.
The post office is pilot testing Farmhouse Direct which links the fruit and vegetable producers with 10.7 million consumers on the agency's list. Under the programme, Australian post would deliver the fresh produce to the doorsteps of consumers who order fruits and veggies from the Internet.
To link 70 producers and their 680 products with Aussies, Australia Post set up the Web site farmhousedirect.com.au where farmers can set up their shop for free and set their own prices. The producers are grouped according to region, product and local farmers markets.
Farmers prepare the shipment ordered via the Internet which is picked up by Australian Post from the farmer or turned over to a depot and the post office delivers the fresh produce.
The agency is set to officially launch the programme by the end of 2012. However, it has encouraged local farmers to participate in the trial run.
"It's silly not to get involved. As growers we are desperate to get a better price for the 2,000 tonnes of fruit we produce each year. Our margins are squeezed in the traditional routes. Though this is more work, but it gets us a bigger percentage of the sale price," The Herald Sun quoted citrus farmer Tim Arnold.
Farmers have complained that they are being squeezed by supermarket giants Coles and Woolworths which initiated price wars that forced producers to reduce the price tags on their fruits and vegetables. With the Australia Post initiative, the middleman is eliminated and the farmers are freed from the clutches of the supermarket giants.
Despite the lower volume of mailed letters handled due to growing preference for email and text messages, Australia Post does not consider technology an enemy which takes away its business, but a new source of income through innovative programmes that tap into ecommerce.
To contact the editor, e-mail:
Most Popular Slideshows
- 'Game of Thrones'-like Film, 'The Queen of the Tearling,' Casts Emma Watson as Lead Star and Exec Producer [PHOTOS]
- 'Fifty Shades of Grey' Movie Casting: Selena Gomez Open to Nude Role, Ready for Anastasia Steele? [PHOTOS]
- Asus Transformer Infinity Pad, Sony Vaio Duo, Toshiba Satellite, A Look at Intel's Haswell 4th Generation Ultrabooks and Notebooks [Photos]
- Jackie Chan Dead 2013: Where is the Chinese Actor Amid Resurfaced Fake Death Reports? [PHOTOS]