Business in Focus: Harvest Bundle
As Featured on The Countryside Alliance on 14th April 2020.
New online marketplace Harvest Bundle lets consumers find the people that grow their food and buy direct.
Food Supply chain disruptors Harvest Bundle are thrilled to have launched their new online marketplace (online farmers market). Harvest Bundle are responding to changes in the food industry, allowing farmers to sell direct to the public. Ben White-Hamilton is the founder of Harvest Bundle and is incredibly passionate about supporting British Farmers and giving them access to the customers. Harvest Bundle was no different from any other business that launches, how does a start up get the word out and find the right customer. Like all things in life, timing is key. Ben reports that sales month on month have increased by 200%. Whilst a loyal and growing customer base provided proof of concept and steady demand, Covid-19 has, as you can imagine led to sales sky-rocketing.
Harvest Bundle, is passionate about providing a convenient, reliable, professional marketplace for both the grower/producer and the customer. Ben says “We promote Britain’s unsung farmers, their stories, their passion and produce and provide them with the platform to sell their produce”. He goes on to say “People don’t live near the farmers anymore, they live in cities, and they rarely meet. Harvest Bundle is re-establishing the link which existed for hundreds of years but which has been lost in the last fifty. I genuinely believe this is my calling – to reconnect the farmer with the consumer. In its rawest form, we sell the farmer first, and when people make the emotional connection with the farmer, their appreciation of the product follows. I understand the farmers' plight, I can see the issue with the current broken system and I have a vision of how to fix it”. The marketplace concept is simple and has been widely adopted by many other industries, AIR B&B, NOTHS, ETSY, AMAZON, TASKRABBIT, UBER, OPENTABLE. Harvest Bundle is different though, focused on food produce, quality, taste, sustainability and provenance. Fortunately, there has been a generational move towards eating better quality, more sustainable and more ethical produce, and a willingness to pay the right price for it. Ben says “In my vision, it would be great if we as a nation got back to how we used to buy food and stock up. In time we plan to list many more farmers and their produce and allow people to do their weekly shop with quality produce”.
You ask how can the farmers cope with this increase? Well, the restaurant trade has packed up, kaput. But where Ben has been so clever, is the brand he has built is around quality and taste. As it happens, his farmers were producing for many of the top restaurants, including the Michelin star ones. Ergo, they have been able to step up and fill the gap. In effect Harvest Bundle is saving the day. For the consumer they can buy food online, at a time when Supermarkets are refusing new online customers. For the farmer, Harvest Bundle is allowing them to sell their produce that would otherwise have had no market.