An entrepreneur is promising to revolutionise the way local food is sourced and make it more widely available to consumers.

Big Barn founder Anthony Davidson is launching the Crop for the Shop scheme, which will connect small shops with local suppliers to give them an outlet for their products. Shops taking part will be given 'community champion' status among the 6,700 outlets listed on the Big Barn website, essentially flagging them up to both producers and consumers.

Under the scheme, products will be supplied to local outlets on a sale or return basis to reduce risk for retailers and eliminate wastage. Davidson said the scheme would also mean a wider range of fresh food was available from local shops, reducing the need to visit supermarkets.

"In time, Crop for the Shop will help keep prices low and meet the need of convenience," Davidson said. The system goes live this month and will expand on an ongoing basis.

Big Barn has also stepped up its efforts to highlight which local shops are cheaper than supermarkets. Currently some 580 stores across the country have been price-checked as cheaper than supermarkets and flagged up with a pound sign on the website.

Davidson admitted local shops were not cheaper on all products but said he envisaged shoppers switching to small outlets for their weekly fresh food shop and then doing a single monthly supermarket trip.

The plan's launch comes as new IGD research found that 30% of shoppers have purchased locally produced food in the past month double the figure in 2006.

Some 57% of shoppers said they purchased local because it had not travelled far and was fresher, while 54% wanted to support local producers, 34% wanted to aid local retailers and 29% wanted to keep jobs in the local area.

Almost a third of shoppers (31%) said they wanted to see more local products made available to them, up from 12% in 2005, while a fifth (20%) would like a farmers' market or farm shop to be set up nearby.