unMon Report - Maria Piera Sarra "Lois"

Main Project:

We aim to support small-scale farmers and healthy nutrition by developing the shortest possible food supply chains – so short they are just direct links. No chains anymore!

Our idea works by creating online storefronts (‘webshops’) and a logistical center for traditional farmers’ markets that support cost-efficient combined shipment of everything a customer orders on one market’s webshop. The market effectively acts as logistics hub, both for self-organized regional same-day delivery, national parcel service delivery, and Europe-wide delivery to other farmer’s markets.

This model re-establishes the viability of traditional, small-scale food production, and allows these businesses to create new jobs. Following the example of Germany where 85% of food sales are done by just the biggest four national food chain companies.

This powerful position of retail chains means that in Germany it is hard, to near impossible to find an independent food retail business - meaning farmers and small producers are forced to sell to big retail chains but often can’t because they are either not admitted, or pricing pressure is just too high. While all profits go to the retail chains and intermediary merchants, meaning producers get very little and consumers often pay much higher than necessary prices. Forcing cash-scarce consumers to buy cheaper, industrial or unhealthy products.

That’s why we would try thanks to Epelia’s concept (is an online platform), to integrate local sales solutions into a pan-European logistics concept tailored for small-scale producers and direct sales.

Local Challenge it addresses:

The challenge is to create a new micro-economic system that promotes and give value to small producers, giving them access to a market that surely would have otherwise remained unknown.

How the Project has changed:

The project has had no major changes just a few improvements which have ensured a more credible approach, both economically and practically in working with producers.


  • Creation of local employment.
  • Direct sales also to international wholesale.
  • Make the Italian bureaucracy for shipments as easy as in other countries.
  • Create a healthy competition to achieve a resilient and reliable.


  • Meet the producers and overcome mistrust.
  • Having explained and made ​​to understand that social innovation is a possibility.
  • Have involved 4 producers to sell their products on the platform.
  • To be able to win the trust of producers very different for both the quantity of products, the quality and the price.

Activities and Outputs:

  • Interviews with various actors of local agriculture: responsible for weekly markets, experts municipal leaders, producers and local merchants.
  • Meetings with producers interested in where I explained the project giving reasons and explanations.
  • Research on the best methods of billing products.
  • Management of the producers who have said "yes" to the project, organizing products and their sale on the website for week commencing April 21st.
  • Always in close contact with our German friends, who provide their online platform (existing: Epelia.com) to implement this project.

And thanks Maria Byck we did a video where I explain the project: http://vimeo.com/90117823#at=0