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Launch of first online market for professional trade of potatoes
The first online market for the professional purchase and sale of potatoes worldwide is now a reality; a project launched by the company Agromar, which has facilities and plantations in France and Spain and is part of the company Intersur, a leader in the production of New Potatoes from Spain.
"Some years ago, there was already a similar initiative, but either because it was not the time or because it did not have adequate resources, it didn't work out. That doesn't mean that Potato Market isn't a pioneering idea, since it is the first digital platform of its kind; the first online market for producers and professional buyers of potatoes," explains the person in charge of this project. Ángel Muñoz, Director of Agromar and Intersur.
The project was born from the collaboration of Agromar in innovation projects with a Spanish university. "They presented this idea to us and we immediately saw its potential and realised we, as a company specialised in potatoes, had to support and promote it," he says.
The profitability of potatoes has been falling in recent years, which has caused many farmers to abandon the crop in Spain and other countries in southern Europe. According to Ángel Muñoz, Potato Market could contribute to a significant change in the operations that are carried out in the sector.
"I think that this platform can bring a lot of transparency to this sector, since the transactions will give more information to the market, and I believe that it will be mainly the producer who will benefit from it, without it entailing disadvantages for the customer interested in buying such products. After years of experience in this sector, I have learned that transparency contributes to greater efficiency in the market; therefore, this may result in higher returns for the producer. I am convinced that Potato Market will provide this transparency," he says.
From the outset, any producer and professional buyer or company specialising in potatoes is welcome to be part of this online market, although obviously there will be a number of filters. "Potato Market must accept the registration based on commercial and, above all, solvency criteria. The advantage is that Agromar is a company with many years in the potato sector and will provide this knowledge. In this regard, it should be noted that we are signing agreements with credit and surety companies to insure the risks of sellers carrying out transactions on this platform," says Ángel Muñoz
Potato Market is currently in beta testing and there are already many companies and producers that have registered on the platform.
"We have already read the reactions of our first registered users, who say that it is an easy to use, fast and reliable tool. There are producers and buyers who think that the statistics that they can get from the platform in real time (once they have registered and the number of operations carried out increases) will be very useful, and above all, they believe that it won't take long before the platform becomes highly operative. After having held meetings with producer organizations, associations of potato companies and some leading packers in several European countries, the interest has been great, and that is why we are convinced of the success of this project. We are convinced that Potato Market will be a successful project which will operate at full capacity very soon."
According to the expert, producers have become very professional in recent years and closely follow all changes in matters of legislation, innovation and quality, etc., in order to improve their production.
"Of course, we know that producers want to have a tool that puts them in direct contact with the market in real time. Potato Market does not aim to be a revolutionary tool; its goal is simply to allow professionals in the sector to have a digital tool that serves as a perfect complement to the traditional channels for potato trade. The digitalization of operations will not be a barrier, as any producer or operator will be able to use Potato Market easily from any mobile device with internet access."
Although Ángel Muñoz prefers not to reveal the details yet, he affirms that in the short term there will be a series of new services that will be added to the basic one of buying and selling potatoes that this platform already offers.
Publication date: 2/1/2018
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