“The collaboration is starting to take shape and is being picked up incredibly well in South America. Many growers see the strength of our collaboration and are interested in working together with both parties.” This says Mark Weitjens of AgroCheck, a company that offers an extensive and worldwide database of debtor information for the ornamental cultivation industry to exporters, growers, and cargo agencies. Because scamming and fraudulent behavior also occurs in the South American flower industry, a search for collaboration began and was concluded when FreshPortal, which supplies the same type of clients with ERP company software, was found. The collaboration will be brought to the attention of people abroad in the next couple of months.
Mark Weitjens, Tessa Weitjens, and Robin Jongkind at the Proflora in Colombia
The collaboration means that both systems will be connected. FreshPortal users will soon get the possibility to add an AgroCheck module so that people can see immediately whether a client is trustworthy or not, or if they are already in the so-called ‘Warning list’ on AgroCheck. This can prevent a lot of problems a lot faster.
“In the last two years we have been getting a lot more new clients from Colombia and Ecuador”, Mark continues. “Which is something our Dutch members also benefit from, because all of our members now receive information from the four countries that are most important when it comes to the export of flowers (Netherlands, Colombia, Ecuador, Kenya). In the ornamental cultivation industry, there is no one else that can offer this.”
During Proflora, earlier this month, Mark and his team did not get the chance to be bored. “On the first day, I talked to one of our Colombian clients, and he told me he sent a sample/test to a new client in Italy. Curious as I was, I asked who he sent it to. As it turned out, the Italian debtor was already in our system on the Warning list because he had caused great damages to at least four Dutch exporters within the first months of the year. I told the client to stop delivering to the Italian immediately, and he thanked me for warning him. He proceeded to give me the name of another grower who also wanted to deliver to the man in Italy. I then warned that grower as well, and through him, I got to his cargo agency. In such scams, they often lose large amounts, since they arrange air transport for many growers. The cargo agency immediately became a member of AgroCheck, because they understood that I just saved them thousands of dollars in damages.”
“At the end of the week, I managed to prevent five growers from being scammed by these Italian defaulters, who were working on a large-scale scam for the 1st of November (All Saints' Day, a big holiday in Italy). One grower would point the next grower in our direction, and this way, they all came to us. Almost everybody faces something like this once in their career, and with our collection services and/or our debtor information, we can really be of help when it does happen.”
AgroCheck will be at the IFTF in stand number A1.30.
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