Jan Anco Wijk on the start with Potato Auction:

"The market is ripe for an online potato auction"

As a potato trader, Jan Anco Wijk is missing a digital platform in the potato trade. This led to Dutch Seed Potatoes 5 years ago, a platform for seed potatoes. He has now developed this concept further into the trade platform www.potatoauction.com. "The auction has been a proven concept over the years, in which the market can do its job. We want to bring together sellers and traders at this trade site, which is unique for the potato trade. I notice that that market is more ripe for this now than it was five years ago. Everyone is increasingly realising that trade is heading towards digital."

Jan-Anco Wijk

Jan Anco spoke about his plans with Addy Meerlo, veteran of the transport world, who was instantly enthusiastic. As an extra service, Addy organises the necessary transport, as soon as a deal is made on the potato auction. Johan Reitsma is the third employee of Potato Auction and organises a lot of work behind the scenes. "Items sold to parties abroad are exported by Potato Auction under our export number. Experienced exporters can take care of this part of the process themselves, but our expertise provides a considerable added value: complete unburdening and complete security and trust. The costs of our service are always clear. Potato Auction works together with trusted partners for the transport of the auctioned potatoes. We ensure all necessary documentation for transport and customs and take care of the transport door to door."

At the moment the men are busy bringing the new potato auction to the attention of the potato trade. "We just have to wait and see which markets will pick up on it most, but the trading houses responded with a lot of interest," says Jan Anco. "We have gotten a lot of growers interested with Dutch Seed Potatoes over the years, and we now also hope to get people in on the trade side. Many buyers want potatoes delivered in bags. Those selling them have to have the opportunity to provide this or unburden it. Bagging should be possible in jute bags of 25 and 50 kg, in ply bags of 25 kg and jumbo bags of 1250 kg."

The idea is that the auction runs for at least 48 hours on Tuesday and Thursday. Suppliers will fill in a specification field at the auction that lists photos and special attributes of the party. All characteristics, qualification, certificates and prices are clearly noted. When asked whether potato trade doesn't have to be done 'with the eyes', Jan Anco replies; "There is the opportunity to do this too. Those interested can request the address and view the party themselves. Personally I wonder how many parties are still viewed at the growers. This is often used as a counter argument for online trade, but I doubt whether it happens every time in practice."

"Our auction master guards the process from start to end. He controls all applications and guides the handling of sales/purchase and transport. The financial transaction is done via escrow and is handled by an independent third party. This is a blocked bank account that is held by a neutral and reliable third party, the escrow agent. The escrow agent only pays the money on the blocked account based on an agreement between seller and buyer. When both parties have confirmed that all agreements have been met, the money is released. "We as Potato Auction operate independently. We do ask those making a buyer or seller account to show a recent bank statement. We want to be assured that we are working with serious parties."

The financial part of the auction is fully transparent. "Signing up is completely free and there are only costs once the auction has been decided. Buyer and seller pay 2% of the figure. Although an auction lasts for at least 48 hours the seller can also fill in a 'buy-now-price'. If the buyer opts for this, they pay the maximum price, but are sure to get the party they wanted. It is also possible to work with an autobot or bid on part of the auction. Producer, trader, middle man, buyer, exporter, importer: everyone can do business via Potato Auction. Those registered can view, trade and bid on auctions. It's all done via the website," concludes Jan Anco.

For more information:
Jan Anco Wijk
Potato Auction
Schaphalsterzijl 3
9951 TW Winsum
Tel: +31 50 20 53 133
Mob: +31 (0) 6-18205876

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