FreshPlaza: "Online marketplace for fresh produce set to launch next month

Click here for original story is an online marketplace designed to fulfill urgent needs for fresh produce buyers and sellers. “We are a real-time window for people who are looking to buy or sell fresh products in the spot market,” says Jose Baptista, Fruitspot’s CEO. The company has built a network of users that includes more than 45,000 growers, shippers, distributors and retailers from the US, Latin America and Europe. All these companies are verified before their first transaction in order to provide security to Fruitspot users. 

Fruitspot has also established a network of country managers in the most important markets across the US, Europe, and Latin America – with local representatives in countries such as Brazil, Chile, and Spain.

Support center

Fruitspot is more than a marketplace. Beyond providing an online platform, the company also offers a support center to resolve issues and follow-up proactively to provide the speed, availability and service required to resolve urgent issues. In case a seller or buyer doesn’t receive a response within a few hours, the support team helps out by making phone calls. The team is also available to help with overall troubleshooting, for example with logistics challenges. “We believe this is a fundamental difference in the way we do business. We’re not a broker, and we are more than just a directory or a traditional online marketplace – Our purpose is to help place the world’s available produce, and thus, provide the human support that helps our users solve urgent issues, often related to excess or shortages in product”, said Baptista.

Free to join, free to use

The platform is free to join and free to use. The company provides its platform, network and support center, and will only charge a service fee if a trade is successfully completed. Baptista has been building relationships with some of the largest growers, shippers, distributors and retailers in the country. Among their users, Fruitspot has signed up Whole Foods Market and, most recently, FreshDirect. “They had an opportunity to review the concept and are very excited,” shared Baptista.

Limiting food waste

Fruitspot is also a partner of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), as part of their 10-year Sustainable Food Systems Programme. Thirty percent of food that is produced globally is wasted before it even reaches consumers. The UN is confident that Fruitspot has the ability to contribute as part of their global efforts to reduce food waste.

“We started building Fruitspot about nine months ago and currently, 350 users have signed up as part of our Beta release,” Baptista mentioned. “We’ve received a great amount of positive feedback and excitement,” he added. The company is currently considering and signing-up more users as they prepare to launch to the public in more than 100 countries. 

Publication date: 6/17/2016
Author: Marieke Hemmes