Covid-19. Home shopping from farmers and traditional distribution


Covid-19. Farmers and traditional retailers are organizing to provide groceries at home. After the flop of large-scale retail trade (supermarket chains) in theecommerce food-which as of March 2020 recorded 47 percent year-on-year growth, except for Going haywire on sites and deliveries – New initiatives to deliver food and other products to the homes of Italians forced home by the coronavirus emergency are flourishing.

Networked stores at is the fledgling portal that brings together small businesses, from grocery stores to pharmacies. It is a‘glocal‘ site, aspiring to bring local retailers together on a national platform. By entering your ZIP code (Postal Code) on the site, you can access a selection of stores available for home grocery delivery.

‘In small towns you often cannot find all the goods you need, you need to look to the neighboring town. But this became difficult. With we try to do this’ (Corrado Tonello, creator of the initiative implemented by Ennevolte with Loud Digital Studio).

The success of the initiative depends on everyone’s participation. To increase supply, organizers are inviting merchants to sign up for the (free) service and consumers to solicit enrollment from neighborhood shopkeepers. Home delivery is not necessarily free-indeed, we hope that a shared policy of free delivery for the disabled, elderly and sick will be promoted-because it depends on the policies of each store.

Farmers and growers right at home

Fresh, 0-mileage fruits and vegetables, meat, cheese, canned goods, and various other foods-all the better if organic-are in turn being delivered to your doorstep by a growing number of local producers. The short supply chain is starting to organize, finally (!). The most publicized initiative is the delivery of food parcels by operators associated with Campagna Amica, the Coldiretti foundation that in normal times animates busy farmers’ markets in cities.

Small local initiatives spring up here and there like mushrooms. Digital innovation, social networking and organizing deliveries of valuable local organic products, typical foods. In and around Conegliano, for example, the Farmer’s Network, which delivers organic products to your doorstep, is active. In the Varese area, a group of friends has instead activated Autentico, under the motto #VareseNonMolla in partnership with local retailers and producers.

Work in progress
. References are sometimes few, not enough to form the ordinary shopping basket. And it is not easy to organize consumer information, which is also mandatory in distance sales, in a few days. Communicate the origin of the oranges distributed in Varese, for example. Little, however, compared to the systematic violations of cogent rules by Amazon, which even smuggles outlaw pesticides.

Peasant agriculture abandoned by politics

Peasant agriculture is abandoned by politics, nationally and locally. Its protagonists, forced by the unjust closure of farmers’ markets, thus now find themselves forced to organize delivery systems quickly, otherwise risking food waste. This is the case of the dozen or so farmers and producers who participated every Sunday in the organic market organized by our friends from theRoma Open Lab association at the CAE (City of the Other Economy), in the former Slaughterhouse of Testaccio, in the heart of Rome.

Freshly picked organic fruits and vegetables from fields in the Lazio countryside, artisanal cheeses from the milk of grass-fed animals grazing in Abruzzo, organic and natural wines at popular prices, and freshly baked organic sourdough bread. A roundup of exceptional food, in quality and price, stranded in the bans on making market decided by municipalities, overriding national provisions, as the Italian Rural Network points out.

Deprived of the resources of large organizations, small producers who protect the environment and health, vital cells of food sovereignty, are paying the highest price in the food supply chain today. Still active with engines at full throttle, thankfully, but inattentive to the treasures of peasant agriculture on the territories.

The ‘condominium supermarket’

Meanwhile, the first ‘Condominium Supermarket’ opens in Milan, at the initiative of FrescoFrigo. The Italian startup has installed five ‘smart’ refrigerators in the Social Village Cascina Merlata residential complex in northwest Milan, serving the more than 900 people who reside in the 397 apartments.

The assortment consists of a variety of ready meals, drinks and smoothies, fruits and vegetables, meats and cheeses, milk and eggs. Supplies come from local operators, and prices are the same as in traditional channels.

Marta Strinati

Professional journalist since January 1995, he has worked for newspapers (Il Messaggero, Paese Sera, La Stampa) and periodicals (NumeroUno, Il Salvagente). She is the author of journalistic surveys on food, she has published the book "Reading labels to know what we eat".