Crates and boxes. Slovaks discover new ways of grocery shopping

Farmer’s boxes are gaining customers in Slovakia as people slowly become more conscious about quality and the origin of the food they eat.

(Source: Courtesy by Svet Bedničiek)

When Terézia Kollárová and her husband Tomáš moved to Košice with their freshly-obtained university degrees, they found that the city lacked a company providing good-quality homemade products.

“I come from a village where my parents have always grown fruits and vegetables and kept animals, and I did not want to give that up in the city where I settled down,” Kollárová told The Slovak Spectator. The couple now runs a business in the regions surrounding Košice and Prešov in eastern Slovakia, delivering boxes of fruits, vegetables and other products directly to their customer’s homes.

Several companies have mushroomed around Slovakia, particularly in Bratislava, in the past few years, as a response to consumers’ demand for fresh food and local products. As an alternative to green markets or local green grocers, farmer’s box businesses are based on the home delivery of their products.

“Farmer’s boxes are the connecting element between the farmer and the end consumer,” Lucia Gallová, the president of Vidiecka Platforma, an association that supports the rights of small farmers, told The Slovak Spectator. In Slovakia, small farms can fill the gap left after the large cooperative farms and state-run companies, typical of the Communist era.

“We can distribute the food quickly and effectively to households,” said Karolína Bobríková, marketing manager of the Svet Bedničiek company. “We often buy farmers’ whole production and they don’t have to worry about finding other markets.”

Traditional food, new technology

The founders of Svet Bedničiek (The World of Crates), Andrej and Peter, decided to open an online shop delivering goods from farmers upon graduating from university.

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