The team from community-focused organisation Planed visited the Farm Business Innovation Show held at NEC Birmingham this month to promote one of its current food projects, “Pembrokeshire Fresh Community Vending” (PFCV).
Planed has been successful in receiving funding for the project from the Welsh Government Rural Communities – Rural Development Programme 2014-2020, which itself, is funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) and the Welsh Government.
Working with EEM Farming Solutions Ltd, PFCV will be bringing two fresh food vending machines to Pembrokeshire in the coming months, stocking locally sourced goods and produce. However, the team at Planed are still keen to hear from any other local producers and suppliers who may wish to engage and consider a further outlet for their products here in West Wales.
Whilst many people will be familiar with the successful milk vending machines in the area, the promotion of fresh food vending will be a new innovation for Pembrokeshire particularly. This is a model which Planed and its wider partners, are keen to trial, and see how they can support communities by providing a flexible, inclusive, environmentally and economically sustainable distribution model, that brings together communities, food producers and suppliers.
Demonstrating the machine with the Planed and Pembrokeshire branding to the 20,000 visitors at the Innovation Show in the NEC was an opportunity which the team fully appreciated.
Sue Latham, project coordinator for the vending project noted: “Seeing the equipment with our branding, to discuss and promote with the attendees with the Show at the NEC generated a positive number of leads for us to follow up. We are certainly now even more excited for the vending machines to be in place in the coming months and work with partners across our communities to then install the remaining machine in the new year.”