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Aberdeenshire food producers launch online one stop shop


By David Porter

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An online one-stop weekly farmers’ market has been launched to supporting local producers during the coronavirus crisis.

Ellie Sinclair of the VegCo based near Ellon has brought together producers from across Aberdeenshire.
Ellie Sinclair of the VegCo based near Ellon has brought together producers from across Aberdeenshire.

The first of its kind in the region, The North East Food Hub will offer customers the opportunity to purchase goods from a wide range of local food and drink firms in one shop all at the click of a button.

The virtual farmers’ market, or local supermarket was founded by Ellie Sinclair owner of Aberdeenshire firm VegCO and is set to stock everything from fresh meat, dairy, vegetables, vegan items, dried fruits, confectionary, ready meals, soft drinks and basic household goods.

Currently recruiting firms to add their products to the site, Ellie explained that it was essential to launch the business as soon as possible due to the restrictions firms are facing on delivery and food service.

She said: “I’ve pulled the launch forward quite a bit to try and help out as many local businesses as possible.

"I wanted to provide a platform where producers can sell their products to their customers to help both the producer and the community.

"Initially was going to start it off with a click and collect service from weekly designated collection points across the north-east, but I’ve had to change a lot of the business model to make it work now because of the coronavirus and social distancing.

More than 50 producers including Cambus O’May, The Bread Maker, Rora Dairy, Big Beefy’s Biltong, Invercamey Dairy, Aberdeenshire Highland Beef, Kilted Coffee, Mike’s Pizza and Ingram's Aberdeenshirehave already signed up to the project.

Richard Fisher at Fyvie based Invercamey Dairy has joined the growing list of suppliers.
Richard Fisher at Fyvie based Invercamey Dairy has joined the growing list of suppliers.

The market will open to customers every week and they will have until Sunday at midnight – when sales close to place their orders.

A report will then be generated and sent to each producer, giving them until 4pm on Tuesday to get their products to Ellie’s family farm near Ellon.

She will then compile all of the orders and deliver them from Wednesday to Friday across Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire.

She added: “We want to provide a platform that hosts a whole load of food and drink goods as well as home goods like eco soaps, washing liquids and more.

“It’s really simple and the customer will get their order with all of their shopping in it delivered directly to their doorstep.

We will of course be doing all deliveries, contactless, to ensure the safety of both the customer and staff.

"Being a producer myself, I know just how challenging it is so I’m looking forward to helping others, too.”

Future designated click and collect areas will include independent stores and other businesses, however these will be confirmed once Government restrictions are lifted.

For more information or to view the hub visit www.thegreatbritishfoodhub.com/hubs/aberdeen-shires-food-hub


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