A farmer-owned online marketplace has been launched to help increase the supply of fresh and healthy food in Ecuador.

Named La Cosecha del Día, the digital platform will benefit both local farmers and consumers.

The platform has been introduced by a coalition formed by four farmer producer organisations in Ecuador to help local farmers that are part of Heifer Ecuador’s Future of Food programme.

The organisations are Agroecological Solidarity Economy Network of the Kayambi Territory (RESAK), the Association Pamar Chacrin of the Sigsig canton, the Network of Producers of Guayabillas of the Parish of Pacto and the Association of Agroecological Producers (APA).

The marketplace will sell 200 food products produced by 400 small-scale agroecological farmers. The products will include vegetables, fruits, seafood, grains, flours, natural herbs, snacks and baked goods.

The platform currently delivers to the cities of Quito and Cuenca, with plans to expand it to other cities across the country.

Heifer Ecuador country director Rosa Rodriguez said: “The [Covid-19] pandemic revealed the environmental and equity issues [in] our food system.

“As an online store built and owned by farmers, La Cosecha del Día guarantees farmers a fair price for their agroecological crops while providing consumers with fresh, safe food.

“The marketplace will contribute to building a sustainable local food system that will benefit farmers and consumers beyond the pandemic.”

Heifer Ecuador’s Future of Food programme gathers harvested crops from local farms to collection centres. Consumers can order produce and get it delivered to their doorsteps.