ProducePay's Produce Marketplace Provides Visibility for Suppliers and Buyers; Pablo Borquez Comments
LOS ANGELES, CA - Visibility. This is one buzzword here to stay in the fresh produce industry. Solutions providers like ProducePay are ensuring greater supply chain visibility for their partners, and the operator’s Produce Marketplace is one tool not to be overlooked. I had the chance to sit down with Pablo Borquez, Chief Executive Officer and Founder, to get the inside scoop.
“ProducePay’s marketplace is putting windows where walls used to be,” he began. “For generations, the industry has had blindspots that make trust and progress difficult. These matters are further complicated by the lack of technology available to farmers, which makes it even harder to achieve transparency. To address these blindspots, ProducePay created a marketplace where buyers and growers of fresh produce have unprecedented access to each other, while offering them market insights, financial solutions, and trade protection.”
Approximately 30–40 percent of food loss occurs during agricultural production and post-harvest, Pablo told me. However, by having direct access to each other through ProducePay’s marketplace, growers and buyers are able to work together to get produce on retail shelves and on a consumer’s plate more efficiently and at reasonable costs.
“ProducePay’s marketplace allows farmers to optimize their upcoming crop sales strategy ahead of time, as we provide pre-season financing to growers up to 12 months before harvest,” Pablo added. “ProducePay also offers a new Quick-Pay service, which is a first-of-its-kind financing option that allows growers to obtain up to 96 percent of the value of their shipments within 24 hours after a buyer accepts the product. This helps growers maintain the cash flow their business needs and cover fixed and operating expenses instead of having to wait months to receive payment.”
ProducePay’s buyer partners have access to approximately 30 commodities being traded on a daily basis year-round, including avocados, broccoli, asparagus, cucumbers, tomatoes, and table grapes. The organization also simplifies the process by analyzing growers’ trading history, certifications, location, and sustainability practices in order to connect them with the ideal grower at any point in the season.
“Additionally, through our platform, buyers and sellers decide on mutually beneficial pricing terms for each transaction,” Pablo said. “Part of the trust and transparency within our process is that both parties have direct access and communication to each other and receive real time market insights so they can make strategic decisions at every step of the way.”
Outside of the planning stages, ProducePay’s marketplace is able to streamline supply chain operations in many ways.
“Typically, produce travels 1,600 miles over a period of 6–12 months before it reaches your plate. During this time, it changes hands several times and is marked up each time it does so. This creates more costs for buyers that are eventually incurred by consumers,” Pablo relayed. “Our digital marketplace enables a more direct path with fewer handoffs and less risk. This means produce can be harvested at a more ideal time and arrive at its end destination fresher and more quickly. This simplified and empowering approach helps eliminate over 50 percent of economic waste and creates value for everyone involved.”
Sustainability is also a main pillar of ProducePay’s work. Its marketplace allows for end buyers to have a line of sight into the sustainable practices used by growers.
“This not only helps buyers meet their ESG requirements, but ultimately helps consumers identify responsibly grown produce more easily and also mitigates the negative impact agriculture and the food industry have on the environment and climate change,” Pablo concluded. “Expanding our sustainability offerings is a priority for ProducePay, as we are committed to working with growers and buyers on creating a more efficient produce supply chain and a healthier planet.”
Those are some ambitious goals, and ProducePay is not only meeting them, but exceeding them. As we continue to keep an eye on this industry player, keep clicking back to ANUK.