Farmers want to deliver their vegetables at their freshest. But using large distribution networks costs time and money at the expense of the freshness of the vegetables. This is detrimental to both the farm and the consumer. To save local vegetable producers and allow them to pass their quality product on quickly to consumers, we needed an efficient distribution system with a more favorable sales price for the farmers.
We created an e-commerce platform limited to regional zones for distributing high value vegetables locally, quickly and at low-cost. Restaurants, wholesale purchasers, and others can log in to VEGI-BUS, choose a farm and order their vegetables. The farm that received the order then harvests the vegetables and only needs to leave them at the bus stop. The driver picks them up and drops them off at the designated stop. The purchaser can then go and pick up the vegetables whenever they want. The farmers and buyers both save an enormous amount of time and money by sharing the stops on the VEGI-BUS routes.
This limited region shared-bus logistics system reduced the average 4-day delivery time to same-day or next-day delivery. At the same time, it lowered farm delivery costs and distribution costs by 10% and 75%, respectively, while also reducing CO2 emissions by more than 66% compared with large distribution networks.
This unique system hints at how e-commerce might be in the future, and has the potential to minimize Japan’s food mileage. VEGI-BUS is not only protecting rich regional food cultures but also creating a new form of communicating locally through the medium of food.
2019 ADFEST: Silver (eCommerce)