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Marketplace for local farms

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Daniel Drazhi
Daniel Drazhi Nov 08, 2021
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Distribution
The majority of people buy their goods from grocery stores; goods such as vegetables, fruits, and dairy products. Oftentimes these goods are offered by local farms which might provide a fresher and healthier alternative. When the coivd19 hit a lot of people switched to buying locally and most of them report that eating locally matters for them.
Many times farmers have to go to the farmer's market and stay there for many hours, while on the other side people (customers) are busy or lazy to get to the farmer's market hence farms might not sell all their goods and people might miss on the opportunity to get those goods. This is not an efficient solution and automating this process would be better for farmers and customers.
I suggest a marketplace where each farm can list their goods and people can add items to one cart and order. At the moment a delivery 2 times/week, maybe on Wednesdays or Saturdays would work better than trying to deliver every day until a considerable number of customers is reached.
At the moment I see the problem of delivering the packages with food to the customers efficiently, safe, conviniently while trying to reduce the costs to the maximum.
Juran suggested this:
delivery via "fresh packages" - country-wide post offices implement "fresh package delivery" via vans and trucks by embedding a small-size "refrigerator"; since they already have a distribution network, the software, and the workforce, this should not be a problem
regional distribution centers - building pop-up storage for every region, where a local farmer, once the order is set, can deliver the goods and from there the goods are distributed further; I imagine 20-30 regional centers in the country which work like marketplaces and fairs, too; from there the distribution could be organized by Bolt Food, Uber Eats, Wolt, Glovo or a similar app
delivery via "fresh packages" by buses - the same idea as above but via local bus network; embedding a "fresh corner" in bus cargo compartment; a good way for bus companies to earn money even when they don't have many passengers
I am not quite sure yet what delivery via "fresh packages" refers to and how it would work. (I would appreciate if Juran or someone else could share some more info and make it easier for me to understand.)
However, I understand the regional distribution centers and I like the idea. What I like about are the follows:
1) As idealy people would be able to order goods from different farms and mix them all in one cart, then a local farm might get order from 10 different people with different goods. Then each local farm can deliver all the goods the 10 people ordered to us. Maybe this can be done twice a week delivery, which means customers might get the goods on Wednesdays & Saturdays. After the farms deliver the food to us we make sure it is not damaged and we combine all the goods different people have ordered from each local farm and handle the packaging as Shubhankar Kulkarni suggested that "farms may not be equipped with materials to pack their produce into smaller packets (households will require smaller packets than the markets). This will lead to an additional packaging expense and time that the delivery company should try to reduce."
However different from Juran I think that having other delivery apps that do the delivery to the customers might not be idea as It will not be good for customers. They will have to pay a lot of dollars for delivery fees. For example uber eats charges a 15% service fee at least starting with 3 $ and no maximum. So if a customer orders a 100$ package, he will have to pay 15$. This is the opposite of what we would ideally offer to customers such as: "Order a package of 100$ and get free delivery. " Ubereats does not provide this.
Hence I recommend we personally deliver all the good to different customers in one full day, by doing these only Wednesdays and Saturdays. Knowing we have 20 orders to deliver in one day, we know the location of each customer and we try to find a path that minimizes the distance. We can hire one person to deliver all the goods in that day.
However there might still be some problems:
1) One problem might be, local farms not being able to deliver the food to our packaging station.
2) Another problem is that customers might want thier goods to be delivered faster.
3) Having our own packaging station might be costly, (paying for the rent of the physical place, and hiring someone to handle the packaging) - I think Juran suggested we could utilize this physical space of packaging as a physical store too where we sell different food goods? (This ideally might help with the expanses of the rent)
If you have any suggestion please let me know. I would appreciate it a lot!
2
Creative contributions

Model the popular food delivery services

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Darko Savic
Darko Savic Nov 11, 2021
There could be a central system (website and app) where people can order any available fresh produce within a radius of X kilometers and have it delivered to their door the same day. This would work in the same way as Wolt, Glovo, and similar food delivery services work.
The marketplace/service would sign contracts with all farms that meet their food quality standards.
The way I see it, there are 2 problems that need to be solved:
  1. How do you get all participating farms to keep an accurate inventory in the system (remove the spoiled produce, account for the sold inventory as soon as it's sold)? If the inventory is not accurate it can cause that a) couriers drive around in vain, b) customers can't get what they ordered so the system has to disappoint them.
  2. How do you get all the participating farms to keep participating despite the fact that in the beginning, the marketplace brings them very little or no business. The farms would little incentive to keep updating their inventory if the system brings them no sales.
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Marco Agudelo
Marco Agudeloa year ago
predefined market coupons
I received an email from town hall, promoting predefined market packages, which following previous replies, I believe could be useful to the app. Since One can figure farms will have different production capacity, but everyone would require to be sold out at the end of the season in order to maximize utility and offer competitive prices. The App could, with a little help from machine learning, optimize predefined market options in orden to group by well selected criterias, such as proximity, nutrition style, season needs, prices, automatic or manual feedback from farmers, to name a few. These predefined options will ease the App users experience, can improve usability and profit.

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Daniel Drazhi
Daniel Drazhia year ago
Marco Agudelo Are you refering to food boxes that contain different goods in one box sold for one final price? I have no idea what this term means "predefined market packages" lol :p.
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Shubhankar Kulkarni
Shubhankar Kulkarnia year ago
Also, if two neighboring farmers have carrots ready for sale at the same time, which farmer gets the order? Or does the consumer get to choose the farms as well? I think choosing the farms may make things easier for the centralized system. They do not need to buy from one farmer leaving the other high and dry. Also, all individual farmers update their lists every morning. The customers then get to choose what they want to order and from which farm. When the customer selects "carrots" in the app, they get a list of farms that have carrots available for sale that day. The farms are ranked based on customer rating. If the farmer does not update the availability of their products, it will affect the customer rating, since it is the farmer's responsibility to update the availability in time. Every morning, they update their produce. Once sold out, they update it again.
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Local farms matter of state

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Marco Agudelo
Marco Agudelo Nov 26, 2021
As it is referenced on the marketplace for local food sites and documents from Belgium , Scotland , Perú , Colombia , USA , Nederlands , and it is concluded by the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations , the development of local farms is a matter of state, their will continue evolving public policies that reinforce food production, processing, distribution and marketing. With those four milestones will be answers to questions such as those suggested by the creative contribution “Model the popular food delivery services” and will reply too to others questions mandatory to have a marketplace for local market, like for example:
What is considered local food? Is it only related to vicinity? or it is a little more complex like cultural related biases. With development on transportation/distribution techniques the distance radius restriction will blur local food boundaries, allowing local food markets to reach further customers.
With investments on processing processes local farms will be able to improve production which will increase profit for farmers which might (or should) improve quality, diversify distribution and facilitate marketing.
The marketplace we are brainstorming to develop can adopt a nutrition table API, based on what it is used in the Nederlands for example. As the buyer starts filling his car with products the marketplace application can estimate and indicate to the user the actual nutritional value of his purchase and suggest based on site cookies, promotional food or season harvest.
About the importance of the state to cowork into developing local farms markets are the opportunities to improve citizens' nutrition, suppervice a profitable use of land and care about climate change to name a few.
In sum, I recommend the cited references as a brainstorming tipping point and so to think about the idea that developing marketplaces for local food is a collaborative project between states, private investors, land owners, farmers, technology drivers - technology seekers, transportation sector and marketing wild horses.
Developing a profitable and long term marketplace could be more a subject on how farmers grows efficiently and eco friendly, on how the transportation logistics will work after sales, about the social responsibility of quality in nutrition, about state policies to ensure farmers will be willing to sustain harvests and create economic growth, and others social KPI that are subject to study and define. Once all these ideas are settled, putting online a website will be as natural as our favorite retail website.

[1]https://www.fevia.be/sites/fevia/files/media/food2025_export_strategy_0.pdf

[2]https://enrd.ec.europa.eu/sites/default/files/assets/pdf/rural-entrepreneurship/localfoodguide.pdf

[3]https://www.agrorural.gob.pe/mercadositinerantes/

[4]https://www.minagricultura.gov.co/Paginas/El-campo-a-un-clic.aspx

[5]https://www.agromovil.co/

[6]https://www.minagricultura.gov.co/Normatividad/Resoluciones/RESOLUCI%C3%93N%20NO.%20000006%20DE%202020.pdf

[7]https://www.ers.usda.gov/webdocs/publications/46393/7054_err97_1_.pdf?v=0

[8]https://www.ers.usda.gov/webdocs/publications/42805/51173_ap068.pdf

[9]https://apps.fas.usda.gov/newgainapi/api/report/downloadreportbyfilename?filename=Retail%20Foods_The%20Hague_Netherlands_6-26-2019.pdf

[10]https://www.plantlab.com/

[11]https://www.fao.org/3/i6583e/i6583e.pdf

[12]https://www.fao.org/3/ca3849en/CA3849EN.pdf

[13]https://apps.fas.usda.gov/newgainapi/api/report/downloadreportbyfilename?filename=Retail%20Foods_The%20Hague_Netherlands_6-26-2019.pdf

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Marco Agudelo
Marco Agudelo3 months ago
Daniel Drazhi What else could be said on this subject. I see here a great opportunity to build smart fit marketplace, maybe by modeling small farmers grouped and do the numbers based on their production capacity, to project a minimum viable processing, distribution and marketing plan.
See I recommend here the possibility to sum up nutrition facts upon selected items.
I think by modeling a small enough farmer group operation, we can avoid the difficult part which is the public policy relation to the marketplace model and by this consideration allow a starting point on how it would work. What other tipping points have you faced during this time on your project?
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General comments

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Darko Savic
Darko Savica year ago
Basically an "Amazon for fresh produce"?
In Europe, there is a wholesale marketplace for flower shops . They operate similarly to what you are describing.
Having something like this for end users would be amazing.

[1]https://www.floraccess.com/en/

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Daniel Drazhi
Daniel Drazhia year ago
Darko Savic Yes, with the local focus. You can have local farms, local bakeries&pastires, Local fishmongers, and local small specialty businesses which might sell goods of a specific niche.
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J. Nikola
J. Nikolaa year ago
Darko Savic How does the FlorAccess handles the shipping? Do you pay for it or is it free if you order a lot?
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Darko Savic
Darko Savica year ago
Juran you pay per cart. The cart is customizable. You can fit more trays of short plants or fewer tall ones.

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