Introducing the Farm Vending Machine
This vending machine, new to the United Kingdom,developed in Germany could enable all fresh food farmers and producers to develop farm gate sales free from the fear of theft.
The Roesler farm food vending machine, built in northern Germany and already being used across continental Europe, first appeared in this country when it was installed on a farm owned by John Gordon of Highland Feather Fresh in Tain, Scotland. Rosler now hopes to build up its presence in the UK after appointing JSR Services (Blairgowrie) Ltd – the company headed by former British Free Range Egg Producers’ Association chairman John Retson – as the sole UK distributor for this country.
John says that producers who rely on honesty boxes for farm gate sales are all too often left out of pocket when would-be customers walk off with their eggs or other produce without paying. “It just doesn’t work,” said John, who said that the Roesler vending machine was the ideal solution.
“It can be tailored to suit any size of operation and it can vend anything from eggs to vegetables and potatoes. The machine can also be cooled or uncooled” said John.
The machine offered farmers some security against opportunist thieves who took advantage of honesty boxes. John, who founded JSR Services (Blairgowrie) in 1991 together with his wife, Linda, had an idea a few years ago to sell eggs through a vending machine but could not find the right equipment for the job. He felt nothing was reliable or durable enough for the task at the time. However, when he saw the Roesler machine that had been installed for John Gordon at Highland Feather Fresh he decided to buy one for the family’s Cransley farm outside Dundee. And he was so impressed that he signed up to become the sole distributor of the machine in the UK.
“We never expected it to go as well as it has,” said John. “It has really taken off. People started using it straight away. It is open until 10 o’clock at night and it then shuts down automatically.” The Roesler vending machine is built with a bank of lockers, each housing products from as little as half a dozen eggs, and it is large enough to accommodate 20kg of potatoes. The machine can be back-lit or chilled and can be built to a customer’s exact specifications and needs.
Investing in a vendor has already proved worthwhile for John Gordon. After nine months of trading with the machine, his sales have steadily increased and he is now considering a second machine to keep up with demand. And John Retson is so confident in the machine’s benefits that he booked a stand at the Pig and Poultry Fair to show it off to other farmers.