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The FarmsDirect website, which is effectively a directory of farm shops, was the brainchild of Somerset couple David and Sue Tucker. They decided to use their IT background to tackle the problem of climate change and falling revenues for farmers.
"We put the website together very quickly, and begun building the database of farmers to enable consumers to source food that is local, traceable, natural, fresh and eco-friendly with a negligible carbon footprint," said David Tucker.
For an annual fee of £12, farmers will be listed in the online farm shop director as well as receive assistance with promotional text that differentiates the product.
"This is not about making money. We are semi-retired and so are in a position to be able to give our time, and some investment, into something that will hopefully benefit the environment and an industry that so deserves everyone's support," said Tucker.
Mark Tutton, a producer of free-range pork products near Kingsbury Episcopi in Somerset, said FarmsDirect was an excellent idea for helping producers to consolidate their local market. "We have seen additional trade and interest, but it would be impossible to know how much at this early stage," he said.