Duncan Family Farms raises organic fruits and vegetables on four farms with a total of 9,000 acres in Arizona and California. Now for the first time it’s selling on the web to retailers and other bulk buyers.
Duncan last week became a supplier on Aggrigator Inc.’s Aggrigator.com, a new internet portal that connects growers with grocers, restaurants and institutional kitchens. “The Aggrigator marketplace technology and business model enable us to access markets and expand our supply chain footprint to keep pace with growth,” says Duncan Family Farms president Will Feliz. He adds that Duncan will sell on the web marketplace its products that are packaged in bulk cartons.
Feliz says that Duncan Family Farms was attracted to Aggrigator’s mission of making the fresh-produce market more available to both buyers and sellers of all sizes. In addition to serving as a portal where buyers and sellers can meet and process purchases, Aggrigator also provides a network of financial and transportation services firms to help its clients complete their transactions.
Duncan Family Farms is making the move to e-commerce at a time when U.S. demand for organic food is growing at a double-digit annual rate, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce, which says organic products now account for 4% of U.S. food sales. U.S. organic food sales grew 11% to $43.3 billion in 2015, says the Organic Trade Association.
“We said, ‘What if we could build a technology that would aggregate demand from small buyers and suppliers who don’t have easy access to big markets?’ We make that easier,” says Gerard Rego, co-founder of Aggrigator. The marketplace was conceived by Rego and his team in January 2014 as a portal for farmers and food buyers to find one another. Duncan Family Farms is part of a small group selling on the site, which Rego says will go fully live within the next two months.
Once buyers register on Aggribuy.Aggrigator.com, the marketplace shows them available items based on their product preferences. Orders on Aggrigator to date range from $300 to $11,000, he notes.
Aggrigator collects a percentage of the value of transactions processed on the marketplace. Rego declined to specify the amount the marketplaces charges. All orders between buyers and sellers can be placed online and payments are processed through PayPal.
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