Some time ago, I tried Farmed Today. It’s a service that delivers locally sourced fruits and vegetables to your door in Amsterdam. I liked the service, but I live in Rotterdam. Luckily, I discovered something similar (if not better)!
The importance of eating local produce is something that I wrote about here, as well as in my newsletter. The point is: we have to eat. But our food doesn’t have to board a plane to get to our plates.
I used to go to local farmers’ markets, but the older I get, the busier life seems. So frankly, when I wrote my review and realized that Farmed Today only delivered to Amsterdam (which, logistically, makes perfect sense), I was bummed out.
But then I remembered that, months prior, I walked by a garage door with a poster that said Rechstreex van de Boer (Straight from the farmer, styled with an X in the first word).
So with a six months delay, there I was, placing my first order from the farmers local to me.
Rechstreex - Local, seasonal produce from around Rotterdam
In short: Rechtstreex is a website that enables you to order local groceries from the producers around Rotterdam - within the 50km radius from the city, to be precise. You can place your orders weekly, and they will get delivered to a pick-up point in your neighborhood. The deliveries are usually once a week, and you can pick a time slot that works for you.
What I love about Rechtstreex is that the entire process is very transparent! Going to the website is like being at an actual farmers market. Other similar services will source the food first, and then sell it to you. Rechstreex does the opposite.
The website lists all the different food producers they’re working with, in all the product categories they offer. Do you need tomatoes? Great, here are all the tomato farmers we have with all the different tomatoes each grows. Need cheese? Here are all of our cheese farmers, but bear in mind that sometimes the cheese you want will sell out by the time we pass them your order.
Full pricing breakdown is available for every item
56% of the money you pay goes to the farmers, which is (sometimes much) higher than in a regular supply chain. Rechstreex also gives you a full breakdown of their prices (!), so you can see how that applies to each product. From what I’ve seen, they’re readjusting the pricing structure for certain products, but it’s still transparent.
You pay for your groceries (even by card) when you pick them up - just in case a particular item you wanted has sold out.
Making your shopping decisions in advance, in the comfort of your home, can inspire you to cook something new. In a supermarket, I would never think of buying certain items. Going to one is usually hectic, and I don’t have time to think outside of the dishes I already know how to make. With Rechstreex, I have a couple of days to think of how to use and explore the new flavors.
Apart from the usual fruit-and-veg, there’s even meat, and flour from local windmills. I found great butter in 1kg blocks, amazing vanilla custard (vla), and localy made kimchi.
As you could expect, there’s no unnecessary packaging involved. Your order gets to your pick up point in plastic crates, and you bring your bags to take it home. The glass bottles or jars come with a deposit, which you can get back when you take the empty receptacles back next time you order.
Rechstreex Rotterdam: Social impact
Rechstreex puts faces back into the food business. Every farmer has a story, and the neighborhood manager, which is a person you will get your food from, is a person you’ll be seeing weekly.
This supply chain feels more local in the times when large-scale food production is usually faceless. Buying local, you contribute to stimulating the local economy and creating employment in the region. Upon placing your order, you can even see a map showing you where exactly is your food coming from!
Rechstreex says that they don’t want to change suppliers but build lasting relationships instead, and that’s pretty refreshing in today’s landscape. If you live in or around Rotterdam and would like to eat more consciously, give it a go! You might be pleasantly surprised. The address is rechtstreex.nl.