Chain pushes fresh credentials

Independent supermarket chain Harris Farm Markets is targeting urban dwellers with a smartphone app designed to get them back on the farm… at least virtually that is.

The chain’s marketing initiative, The Crop, uses Facebook and is designed to help Australians understand vegetable production from farm to store.

Billed as “the first even fan created crop”, the app works by asking its Facebook fans to virtually vote and interact with one of the supermarket’s unplanted crops.

“The size and type of the crop and how we farm it will all depend on you,” says David Harris, owner and founder of Harris Farm Markets.

Facebook fans can then taste the end product when their “crop” arrives instore.

Harris Farm Markets first opened in NSW’s Villawood in 1971 under the name Villawood Markets and has since expanded to 23 sites nationally.

Tristan Harris, director of buying and marketing, Harris Farm Markets, says The Crop pushes the chain’s commitment to locally grown and fresh produce. 

“Harris Farm Markets prides itself on delivering the freshest and best produce, unlike some supermarket stores who can hold produce in warehouses for up to two days,” he says.

It comes off the back of consumer research it argues shows many Aussies are in the dark over how fruit and vegetables are grown.

The study released by Harris Farm found one in six Australians are unsure how asparagus is produced and one in 10 think broccoli grows in a bush or tree.  

Gen Y was the most clueless over vegetable harvesting, with one in six thinking buk choy is grown under the ground and half saying they wouldn’t be confident growing a vegie patch themselves.

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