Farmers earned between 20 and 40% more than the market price when they used a system to directly export their oranges through an Internet portal thanks to the lack of intermediaries.

The portal, created by Juan José Bas, a farmer and agricultural engineer, has recently added a tab that facilitates the contact between European farmers and wholesalers to its website. A feature that has allowed producers to close sales with customers in France, Germany, England, the Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland, Finland, Italy and Algeria. The system's advantage for the farmer is that he may sell his product at a price that is higher than the market price as he has no need for a middleman. The buyer, in turn, gets fresher products (as they are shipped a day or two after harvest), ensuring he receives the quality he is looking for.

According to the web's promoter, one of the system's requirements is that the buyer requires his fruits be in boxes, something that the farmer can do himself or can outsource.

Producers can find collaboration to package the fruit, so it can meet wholesale market needs, at the portal.

Some producers have sold all of their production through this system
As it's not that expensive, there are farmers who have installed a small warehouse with a gauge and a planing machine, so they can provide the confection service themselves. According to Bas, "the farmer bills the wholesalers and keeps all the profit margins."

Some 500,000 kilos per month (or 24 trucks) export operations are being carried out via these means. Some farmers have even sold all of their production this way.

Bas said that all of the farmers that have exported using his website, especially those from the Valencian Community, Huelva and Seville are making new deal with their prior customers, and that there are new contacts with customers in Saudi Arabia, Shanghai and Belgium.

Leafs are also harvested 
As a symbol of the product's freshness, leaves are also gathered in the harvest. The products aren't sent to cold storage, thus retaining their freshness and quality.

The portal, created in mid 2012 to improve prices by facilitating direct contact between farmers and national and international traders, currently has about 1,400 farmers who offer about 216,000 tons of fruit.

90% of the fruit being offered are citrus and the rest are kiwis, plums, cherries, pomegranates, apricots, avocados, pears, and apples.

The Asaja organizations from the Mediterranean collaborate on the portal, which is also available in French and English.

Source: Efe