Fresh food vending machine launched in Stirling

A healthy vending machine - dispensing eggs and bread instead of confectionary and fizzy drinks - has been set up in Stirling.

Located Forth Valley College’s Stirling campus, the fresh food vending machine is being made available to the public as part of a ten day trial.

In an aim to make local food readily available, the Get Ready for Local Food project hopes to promote the local food in Stirling to residents, in association with the Grow Forth Net work and environmental charity Forth Environment Link.

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The vending machine will house a broad variety of local products, such as eggs, bread and vegetables, from different producers.

Nikki Kenn, Business Project Officer for ‘Get Ready for Local Food’ said: “The machine works just as a normal vending machine, but unlike those you will be familiar with, this one will offer you products such as fresh hand baked bread, locally grown vegetables, free range eggs, local honey and more.

“We know that a lot of people love visiting farm shops to buy local produce but not everyone has easy access to them as they tend to be further afield. With the local food vending machine we are offering a mini farm shop in the city.”

The pilot scheme aims to connect more consumers with their local producers and, if successful, could see mini farm shops pop up across the city. The vending machines provide a real opportunity to showcase Stirling’s larder and could play a vital role in supporting and promoting local business.

Forth Environment Link has been working over the last year with local food businesses and communities to respond to the growing demand for fresh local produce.

Similar vending machines are already being used in different locations in Scotland, principally by farming businesses to provide direct access to their fresh produce. The Stirling scheme is exciting because it takes the farm shop approach and offers a wide range of products.

Stuart Retson, from Vending by JSR, who is supplying the trial vending machine, commented: “We are increasingly seeing vending machines being ordered from all over the UK, specifically to offer local and fresh produce. Our fresh food vending machines come in all shapes and sizes and can be refrigerated depending on specific needs. We feel the interest in them is as a direct response to people looking for alternatives to how they shop.”

The producers participating in the scheme include J.Burnett and Sons, Camphill Blairdrummond, Tullibody Community Garden, Green Routes, Gartmore and honey from John Coyle, Kippen.