Farmers in Latin America lack access to markets, which limits sales and profitability. The fragmented markets in which agricultural goods are traded have been revealing an undeniable problem: when it comes to small farmers, demand and supply of agricultural products do not have an efficient way of encountering one another. Given the lack of information that small farmers in Latin America face about the different markets in which they could sell their products, the only alternative for them to close this gap is to take their products to a town market. Due to high transportation costs, inevitable perishability of the products and excessive amount of brokers in the value chain, small farmers are forced to sell below market prices once they arrive to the town’s public market, leaving no room for the farmer to target other markets or to bargain the price.
Grou is an online marketplace for agricultural products that connects farmers and buyers so that they can transact in a secure and transparent way. With the aid of food brokers leveraging technology, Grou also provides real-time market information to farmers and buyers that is otherwise unavailable. The platform combines the digital channels that buyers expect, with offline mechanisms to reach farmers. This way, farmers benefit from access to markets and buyers benefit from a reliable value chain in which food waste is also reduced.