Harvex platform takes onion trading into the digital age

Harvex is a new trading system that has been called ‘the world first global online trading platform for fresh onions’. The onion-trading platform claims it’s bringing wholesale markets into the digital age. Besides this, Harvex hopes to also deliver better returns to growers by cutting out the industry’s middlemen.

The platform is a secure space where buyers and sellers can trade seamlessly, while also improving access for smaller growers to international markets, chief executive Alex Guilleux said. Buyers would have access to real-time price data and assurance over the quality of the product, he said,

Harvex will complete its first trade next month, when commercial volumes of New Zealand onions become available.

Stuff.co.nz quoted Guilleux as saying: “We have spent a year working on the technology and visiting growers to convince them that there is a better way of trading, with more transparent pricing. We are a small country and when you trade commodities in big markets your customers will always try to push you down.”

Growers could put onions on the platform, saying what price they wanted per tonne. If they sold, Harvex would take a percentage commission.

The export onion crop was worth $200 million a year to the economy, chief executive of Onions New Zealand James Kuperus said. Growers grew 230,000 tonnes of onion each year, 85 per cent of which went to export markets.

Kuperus said Harvex would open markets for smaller growers who might not have the scale to employ exporters and marketers or the ability to find customers overseas.

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