For the vast majority of Generation Y, the concept of getting the family's weekly groceries from anywhere other than the local Coles or Woolworth's is foreign, the milko is but a myth.
But the tables are turning and there is a push to get back to basics -- to buy local, and pay less.
For mother of 2 Amber Allen she's saving a bundle By getting it from the farm gate straight to her dinner plate. “At the moment we're getting bacon and eggs and bread and milk and juice, apple juice from Tasmania which is beautiful”, she said.
It's a simple concept, promising to cut out the middle man. “Some of the fruit and vegetables boxes which have about 12 - 15 kilos of fruit and vegetables, actually delivered to the door for about $35 -- if you went into a supermarket or the local fruit and vegetable operator they'd be at least $42.00”, said Braeden Lord, Chief Executive of Aussie Farmers Direct.
And business is booming -- the company has enjoyed extraordinary growth rates of more than 200% a year since launching in 2006. “The concept started in Victoria with one van only, about three years ago and we now have over 120 vans that are operating around suburbs in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and we just started opening in Perth as well”, Braeden added.
Its a return to the days of the milkman and the fruiterer, before Coles and Woolworths had a stranglehold on the grocery market. “I liked the idea of supporting Aussie farmers and also its just so convenient -- it arrives, we get our milk and bread and meat on Mondays and our fruit and veg on Wednesday”, Amber said.
Amber feeds her family of four without the need to push even a trolley. “You get your own login, then you choose the foods that you need for the week -- its very easy -- and confirm your order and it arrives”, Amber said.
“We are supporting Aussie farmers, we're keeping the profits in Australia, we're keeping jobs in Australia, and now we deliver over 150 tonnes of locally Australian grown fresh produce on a weekly basis and that’s all jobs, profits, everything that stays in the Australian economy. Its really exciting”, Amber said.
The convienence of having groceries delivered is also attractive. “For the convenience -- having two small children -- its a lot easier ordering it online and getting it delivered, than having to go to the supermarket, dragging the kids along and you know trying to get them to behave”, Amber said.
“What this is about is selling farm quality meat, like good quality farm produce,
direct to the public”, said Kevin Masterson, from Warwick Meat.
Kevin is one of the new breed of butchers teaming up with farmers like Sam Bryce. “In terms of specials, we're so confident in the product and our prices that we will beat up to 70% off supermarkets. Buying in bulk is back, our tastes have matured for the finer cuts of beef and massive walk in cold rooms are being built to cater for the demand”, Kevin said.
“Basically we are taking the product from the paddock to the plate”, Sam said.
Kevin believes buying from farmers through him can save you up to 50% on your meat bill compared to the major supermarkets -- and if you like the fancy stuff he's got that too.
Robbie Shaw's farm is in Esk north west of Brisbane. Her internet business Boutique Meats is another. “My beef is raised, bred in the country, goes through my little accredited feed lot, it goes through a local abattoir and butcher shop. It's all cut the way you want it. It's all delivered to you”, Robbie said.
Kevin says meat is back on the menu, with families paying more attention to what they're eating and where it's coming from “The consumers are changing. I think because there has been so many middle men involved, a lot of consumers that are budget conscious, have had to buy cheaper and cheaper cuts and that special eating experience that was around a few years ago has sort of gone for a lot of people”, he said.
“We take a lot of time and diligence in making sure that the freshest possible quality ingredients go out to our customers so literally its picked with in 12 -24 hours and its shipped out to our customers and it arrives on their front door step”, Kevin said.
That is something the big stores, says Braedon, can't guarantee. “It couldn’t be any fresher and it couldn’t be any more Australian”, he said.