Leading by example


Model for selling and distributing local food


REKO is model for selling and buying local food directly from producers to consumers. Products are sold based on pre-orders made through closed Facebook rings. Different producers bring their products to the same place at the same time. There are over 160 REKO rings in Finland at the moment. The REKO model has spread in other countries as Sweden, Italy and Iceland.


Finland, spreading in Sweden, Italy and Iceland


REKO is a model for selling and distributing local food. The first REKO local food group was founded in Western Finland Pietarsaari in 2013. The model was developed by Thomas Snellman and his team.

REKO’s basic functional units are local Facebook groups. Consumers order food from producers through these closed Facebook groups without middleman. A REKO ring can have a delivery meeting for example every other week at an agreed time. Producers deliver the products to the agreed market place and consumers can pick up all products they have ordered from different producers at the same time.

The rings are set up by local people and have at least on administrator. There are some ethical policies in REKO. These policies vary depending on the region and administrator of the ring has final decision-making power. Some policies are common in all REKO rings: common animal production is not allowed, wherever possible organic and free range are recommended, GMO feeds are mainly not allowed, and the use of as much local ingredients as possible is required, producers should communicate the production methods as objective as possible, and customers have the possibility to visit all farms involved.

REKO is free for producers and for consumers. There are about 3,700 producers selling their products through REKO and together 250,000 customers in all rings (as of 2017). The annual revenue was about 30,000,000 EUR/year in 2016.

Thomas Snellman, REKO
Photo credit: Alisa Ylinen - Seinäjoki University of Applied Sciences

This best practice is part of the SME ORGANICS project.

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