From: Bryan Nelson, MNN
Published October 8, 2009 11:27 AM

Farmers use vending machines to sell produce

In today's world of complex supply chains, international supermarkets and big agribusiness, it has become more and more difficult for small farms to sell their produce directly to local consumers at a reasonable price. But one farm in Germany, Peter-und-Paul-Hof, thinks they may have found a solution: set up vending machines which distribute produce instead of junk food.

The idea is unconventional, to be sure, but it isn't unprecedented. Back in 2007, a Spanish company based in Barcelona-- Lof-- also used vending machines to distribute healthy food such as nuts, prepared fruit, ready meals and even gazpacho soup. But the application of vending machines by Peter-und-Paul-Hof is the first time they have been used to deliver local produce.

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The effort is part of a collaboration between the farm and vending manufacturer Stuewer, and currently the specialty machines (labeled Regiomats) are set up to dispense fresh milk, eggs, butter, cheese, potatoes and sausage. What more could a hungry German ask for?

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