BPApp

BPApp : The best of our farmers in your hands

Bucaramanga, ColombiaBucaramanga, Colombia
Year Founded:
2015
Organization type: 
nonprofit/ngo/citizen sector
Project Stage:
Start-Up
Budget: 
$10,000 - $50,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

Online platform that allows Colombian Farmers to learn about good agricultural practices in order to reduce product waste, enhance productivity and enable them to sale directly to supermarkets, hotels and restaurants.
This platform also reduce the intermediates between farmers and potential market

WHAT IF - Inspiration: Write one sentence that describes a way that your project dares to ask, "WHAT IF?"

What if farmers could improve their incomes by selling quality products directly to consumers?
About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

Local farmers can't sale directly to marketplaces like hotels, restaurants or supermarkets, in Colombia they seen force to sale their production (fruits & vegetables) to an intermediate who sets the price for farmers and distribute their products. A product who is available for sale on a supermarket has passed through 3 or 4 intermediates who increase prices for final customers, generate product waste and decrease quality.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

We have created a program who has to sides: Education and Commerce. We have created a program in partnership with other non-profit organizations to teach local farmers Good Agricultural Practices(In spanish BPA) for them to be able to produce quality products, reducing the use of toxic pesticides in a sustainable model. Once farmers have improved their quality of their crops they enter into our online platform that connects them directly with markets places who need fruits and vegetables suppliers. We also working with consumers for them prefer products that are provided directly from local farmers.

Awards

Finalist in Startup Program Colombian Public Ministry of IT
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

The most recent pilot we are driving is with a community of blackberry farmers, they have a complete process of sensibilization and education about producing quality products, handle sanitary risks and quality classification of production(crop). We are creating commercial channels with our platform for them to sale at better prices. One thing that is very important is that farmers in this area feel and understand the responsibility of producing safe, sane and quality products, they now understand how affect their practices into the consumer's health.

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.

Only 10% of Colombian farmers have access to technical assistance, we are reaching little producers and training the in application of Good Agricultural practices on post-harvest in order reduce product waste in a 35%. . Commercialization without intermediates increase income for farmers up to a 150%. We are involving the nuclear family, in a effort to increase the use of internet for information search (prices, pest control, seeds ) in young and adult population.

Spread Strategies: Moving forward, what are the main strategies for scaling impact?

We want to reach a bigger population of farmers across Colombia. Include them and their families in the education program (Good Agricultural practices and use of Information Technologies) and connect them with customers(supermarkets, hotels and restaurants). We also want to boost a brand that represent this initiative and invite consumers to buy products sale directly by local farmers.
Sustainability

Financial Sustainability Plan: What is this solution’s plan to ensure financial sustainability?

Our plan to ensure financial sustainability is to charge 5% over transaction between farmers and market. This percentage has been validated with local farmers who agree is a fair tax in exchange for the educational program and access to the marketplace.

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

Currently in Colombia there are initiatives that aims to offer products from local farmers to final consumers. Our approach include the educational component. Quality is the value proposition and added-value for big maketplaces and is only achievable through a process of education and motivation. Also we target a marketplace like hotels, restaurants and supermarkets ( wholesale stores )that have a bigger daily demand of fruits and vegetables, in order to assure demand and establish long term relations between marketplace and local farmer.
Team

Founding Story

Sandra Herrera our co-founder was ir a rural area called Berlin (Santander- Colombia), there she was able to understand the educational gap in the rural sector, they lack of basic concepts of quality, sanitary and use an excessive amount of pesticides in their crops. Also their land is less fertile due to excessive use of fertilizers without taking consideration of soil composition. All these factors were affecting this local farmers and consumers and marketplaces were rejecting their products. We had the idea to create an "e-commerce" to create a direct sales channel. But we understood that before that we needed to create a free program of education on good agricultural practices.

Team

Sandra Liliana Herrera - Chemist, full time involved in agricultural projects with local farmers, her passion has became working with communities, and give them the tools and knowledge to develop sustainable models of production. Also works as Quality and sanity consultant for food processing companies. Laura Amorocho Galvis - Systems Engineer, full time participation with experience in designing and developing IT solutions for users with low understanding of internet and mobile devices. Carlos Iván Jaimes - Senior Designer, photographer and filmmaker, expert in development of easy-use learning solutions, animation and virtual learning enviroments design.
Background
Please confirm how you heard about the Unilever Awards:

I heard about the initiative via twitter

Please confirm your role in the initiative (eg Founder/co-Founder) and your organisational title:

I am BPApp co-founder

Which of the 8 UN Global Goals (Sustainable Development Goals) pre-selected for this competition does your solution relate most closely to? [select all that apply]

No Poverty, Zero Hunger, Responsible Consumption and Production.

Leadership and the Unilever Awards
Please provide examples of any previous entrepreneurial initiatives you have pioneered.

I participated in a initiative of online education for healthcare staff. We created an e-learning platform and developed content focused on Pap smear test. The objective was improving staff skills and reduce the amount of bad result produced by bad executed tests. This project was financed by a local University and the national institute of science and technology (colciencias)

Beyond your existing team, who else are you working with to achieve your objectives, eg partners, advisors, mentors?

We are part of a local program named apps.co, a government program which provides mentorship, training using Lean Launchpad methodology to grow business ideas and social startups.
Also we have a strong partnership with "Asociación de Agricultores de Santander" (Agricultural Association of Santander) this association are our technical support and cooperate with us to reach farmers in our region. Also help us design and provide training programs for farmers.