CONECTAGRO

CONECTAGRO: The harvest platform that combines agriculture and e-commerce

Mexico, MexicoAyala, Mexico
Year Founded:
2015
Organization type: 
hybrid
Project Stage:
Idea
Budget: 
$10,000 - $50,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

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

CONECTAGRO is a platform that combines agriculture and e-commerce, with the aim of generating a meeting point where little farmers promote and sell their products or surplus a just price in local, municipal, state and regional markets

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

Why if we provide a link between crop farmers and those who are interested in acquiring a high quality food at just price to interested and the farmer minimized intermediates and the hoarding?
About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

Some problems of little farmer are the inability to effectively position their product in the market. They don’t have a mechanism in which they can generate a stable market for offer their production or surplus production. Meanwhile they sell their products in the harvest time, they have economic losses due to the lowest prices in the market. However final customer buy the product at a higher price because of excessive middlemen and hoarding.

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

Our approach is an e-platform where farmers can register themselves and their estimated production or products. In this platform they will be able to offer the products to potential customers registered according to their interestings and geographic zone. The farmers can negotiate the sale of all, part of their production or their surplus production. The transaction will be optimized through georeference tools to indicate the farmer and customer nearest offer available in order to propose a midmeeting point to negotiate the price and the delivering conditions. CONECTAGRO minimized inefficiencies generated by traditional business processes, it reduces significantly the costs associated with the assets and services.

Awards

No yet
Impact: How does it Work

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

Luis and Carlos are lemon farmers in Veracruz, their productions are rotting in the field and they prefer to give it to friends than commercialize it because the harvesting cost, they say: “ We do not get any benefit to sell at low prices imposed by hoarders”. Through CONECTAGRO, they can offer their products to potential customers in local, municipal, state, regional and global markets, according to their interestings and geographic zone. They can negotiate the sale of all or part of their production or their surplus and obtain a just price for their products. The final costumer will be beneficiated at buy products with high quality at an accessible price. With CONECTAGRO, we encourage just trade.

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

The middlemen raise the food prices between 400% to 630 % on average in some cases. The high profit margins for marketers are more evident in agricultural products; in the case of lemon production, the prices can be higher than 86%, the onion 80% and the tomato 77%. There are several government programs focused on providing production capabilities oriented to subsistence, however, there isn’t a mechanism to generate a market in which the surplus productions where available. This means that storage is generating for self consumption, breaking the economic cycle that allows the farmers to earn revenue from these products. With CONECTAGRO we are looking for a virtual market for assets and services, where farmers can promote, sell their products at a just price and generate advance sale contracts, minimizing middlemen and hoarding. This will benefit the rural and agricultural growth.

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

Create an alternative distribution network with organizations involved in social economy. Link agricultural producers with potential customers according to their production capacity and geographic region using communications. Bring support to the federal government and rural communities to establish public policies limiting the participation of intermediaries, avoid speculation, benefiting producers and consumers. We'll begin operation in 2016 with the business plan and the financial projections. In 5 years we are planning to grow and incorporate all states. In 10 years, have presence in world
Sustainability

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

The main possibilities to maintaining the working CONECTAGRO are: 1. Advertising space sales. 2. Strategic alliances and funding with government. 3. Data generation, manage and analisys for government. 4. For each transaction (sale or auction) a small percentage of commission will be charged. 5. Small fee for the registration in the page.

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

In Mexico there are wholesale markets named “Central de Abastos”, their purpose was to supply the great merchants, in recent years their also distributes food to retail customers. Their problems are insecurity, waste, logistics and infrastructure. Also there exist supermarkets but they have policies that don’t benefit the farmers. Our direct competitors are: horspower (USA) Our indirect competitors are: Central de Abastos, agrositio and redalimentaria Here there aren’t direct competitors, we are in a virgin market CONECTAGRO is an innovative way to combine agriculture and e-commerce
Team

Founding Story

Part of the team came from rural zones. In that zones, the principal activities are agriculture and ranching; we realized when family and friends couldn't sell their products or sold their production, they obtained just a little profit for their hard work. Nowadays all of us live in the Mexico City, here, like in other parts of the country, the farm products have bad distribution and because of the intermediaries, the prices are higher. One day, talking about this, the team proposed this platform in order to help farmers to have better incomes and for the final consumers more and better products with good prices.

Team

David Mares (Project Manager) Gabriela Espindola (Marketing and finance) Manuel Perales (Web and mobile Technologies and ideas) We are the authors of this idea and We want to develop it. With the correct orientation of our profession to this problem, We hace the goal of develop this plattform. We are planning to incorporate at the project a Legal expert, designer, a web master and UX designer specialized for the next three months. through participation in the project, we are currently closing a deal with them. Our goal is have a beta version in march.
Background
Please confirm how you heard about the Unilever Awards:

Through twitter

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

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, Decent Work and Economic Growth, Responsible Consumption and Production.

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

Marketing for small business
Integrate a multidisciplinary team
Key contacts in farmer sector

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

Farmers from Morelos, Michoacan and Veracruz states
Cooperative in Texcoco
A legal partner

randomness