During the week of Fruit Attraction, a new virtual market place has opened its registration. MarketBuy wants to offer a solution to both small and large farms that do not have the resources and connections to deal with retailers, wholesalers or even just importers directly. It intends to empower the growers and combat the large number of produce going to waste.
James Mash is a sixth generation wholesale Green Grocer. His family has been involved in farming and the fresh produce wholesale industry for over 160 years. A little over a week ago, he launched the registration for the online marketplace called MarketBuy. “Our online marketplace was created to bring both transparency and fluidity to the fresh produce industry, through the technology and service we provide. Its intention is to directly connect both small and large growers to retailers and wholesalers through one easy to use platform. This saves costs and travel time, while at the same time opening markets that were not available to growers due to a lack of connections. When I pitched this idea to retailers, they were very excited as these companies are always looking for new ways and places to buy from.”
The positive feedback from both buyers and sellers has been overwhelming, Mash said: “People have responded with great interest, although people are also a bit nervous. This is normal when new technology is being presented, however, most people agree with me that the virtual world is the future for making deals in the fresh produce industry. We expect them to become more comfortable after trying it out for themselves the next three months, for which the first 100 registered accounts will not have to pay any sort of fee while this trial stage lasts. Those not fortunate enough to be part of the first 100 registered accounts will have to pay in order to use the service. Buyers pay a membership fee and for the sellers there will be a commission system in place.”
James Mash visiting the FreshPlaza stand during Fruit Attraction
The MarketBuy platform has a couple of systems in place to ensure people will not easily be scammed or disappointed with the produce they receive. Before a buyer or seller is allowed to enter the platform, a credit check from credit companies is applied. Another way of adding security was to integrate an Escrow wallet directly to the platform, as well as adding a system for invoice financing and invoice insurance. This should also speed up transactions while providing another layer of security for both seller and buyer.
An example of produce on offer
There are other various enhancements to the platform that Mash will have integrated from day one, like the ability to either have a set price that people can directly buy produce for, as well as a bidding system that will allow people to outbid each other, giving better prices to the growers. “We want to bring growers to the front and make the growers price makers, not price takers. It will allow these farmers to invest in their farm in the future,” Mash explains. “We’ve also partnered up with a global logistics platform, so people using MarketBuy can directly buy a spot on lorries that have space left. It should reduce some of the costs and at the same time give traceability options for those that might not have access to this kind of technology, normally.”
Other features of the app include instant private messaging and creating a profile page, which can display things like accreditation, spray record or any other data the seller or buyer would like to be displayed. “I also firmly believe MarketBuy can contribute to reducing food waste. About 40 per cent of food in the fresh produce is going to waste. Our platform allows growers to try and sell produce that might not meet the specification requirements for most buyers. If only one buyer doesn’t care about the sizes being too small, or the shape of the fruit not being traditional, less food would go to waste. The addition of blockchain is also coming up in the short term. We can use the MarketBuy platform for other agricultural industries as well, like meat, fishery and even flowers. Our first point on the agenda is finishing and releasing the phone app, so everyone can buy and sell produce with the one device they always carry with them anyways. We hope to release this app within the next six months.” Mash concludes.
A company profile page. As this is only a preview version, it's filled in with default Latin text. It should give you an idea of what the page looks like.
To try MarketBuy for yourself, click here to register. The first 100 registrations will be excluded from having to pay for the service in any way for the first three months.