Researchers have launched a Smartphone app to help people source local food in places such as farmers' markets and local farms.
For the last two years, researchers from the Countryside and Community Research Institute (CCRI) at the University of Gloucestershire have developed a smartphone app called 'MiLarder'.
The app, which was named ‘MiLarder’ via an online Twitter competition, aims to help people buy local produce.
It is designed to help consumers research information on local products and tell them where they can find them.
They can search the different local food sources in their area, for example farmers’ markets, farms, box schemes, community supported agriculture, food hubs and pick your own, and can view details, such as description, distance and opening times.
Consumers can also find information regarding which farmers are attending a farmers’ market and what products will be available.
Information on special events, promotions and other related news can be found on the app and consumers can tell other app users about their local food experiences.
Spread the word
Producers can spread the word about their products via the app and insert and update their own data, such as who they are, their production methods, and at which farmers’ markets they can be found and on which days.
Work on the development of the app has been funded by the EU Horizon 2020 program under the Marie Sklodowska-Curie actions – Individual Fellowship.
CCRI Senior Research Fellow, Dr Matt Reed, who assisted on the project, said: “For years now the CCRI has been telling farmers, growers and consumers about the benefits of local food.
“As part of this process we have reviewed over 100 other food apps in order to refine the features of this one. One of the key aspects of the app is the opportunity to share your food experiences with other users.”
In November, the CCRI took a demonstration version of the new app along to farmers’ markets at both Cheltenham and Cirencester to show to stallholders and shoppers.
The app allows users to post photos and during March, April and May, everyone who posts a picture onto the app of themselves with a stallholder at a farmers’ market will be entered into a random draw.