Italian farmers’ markets respond to Covid through online sales
Coldiretti’s network of farmers’ markets “Campagna Amica” is seeing increasing demand for direct and online sales by Italian consumers. Since the Italian government decided to enforce new lockdown measures in March 2021, consumers’ requests for online and direct sales have grown again. The new restrictions limit citizens’ ability to move across towns and require citizens to shop locally. This produces new challenges for consumers to access fresh and seasonal food by local producers. The network of Campagna Amica has responded to these challenges, and new online and direct sales channels are today in place to ensure consumers can still access local and high-quality food. Citizens can order farmers’ products online, contacting Campagna Amica farmers’ markets via email or through the local branches of the Coldiretti website.  

The year 2020 witnessed fast growth in direct selling within Campagna Amica, and farmers have adapted to the restrictions and new social distancing policies through diversification of sales channels, including direct sales, online sales, and delivery services. Ordering food online allows consumers to have easy access to fresh, seasonal, and high-quality products, avoiding gatherings in supermarkets and providing a direct relationship with local producers. Online sales also allow consumers to stay local and shop safely. Strength2Food has researched the ways in which online channels allow consumers and producers to connect even in times of crises and insecurity. A full report of the research can be found online: Report evaluating the pilot initiative on food fairs and farmers’ markets – STRENGTH2FOOD.