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Fresh French food just an online sponsorship away

Website offers foodies the chance to fund an animal, a hive, a vine - and have fresh produce delivered to their door

Small farmers in France are flocking to a website that puts them in contact with people willing to help crowdfund their business in return for produce.

The crowdfarming website is taking root in France, notably in the Basque Country. Using the platform, consumers can adopt a sheep, for example, and have cheese made with its milk delivered to their home.

Adopting a Basque sheep costs €58.72, for which investors receive 2.2kg of cheese delivered to their door in May.

Elsewhere, French vignerons offer their wines in return for sponsorship of vines, or honey for those who provide financial support to the upkeep of a hive. Olive oil producers, squash farmers, plum growers and mustard farmers can be found on the site.

And the website's reach is international. Small-scale artisanal food producers in the Philippines, Spain and Georgia are among those offering their produce in return for financial support.

This form of funding has helped one farmer guarantee a large slice of his annual income.

"When you start a season, you take the risk. [Now] we know that there is a certain quantity that is guaranteed to be sold. For us, this is good!" he told France 3 Aquitaine.

The crowdfarming concept was started by two Spanish brothers who took over an abandoned orchard from their grandfather 11 years ago. To replant the dead trees, they asked family members if they wanted to adopt an orange tree. They could then follow its growth and enjoy the harvest.

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