Fruit and vegetable distribution optimization gets a tech upgrade with Waruwa - FreshFruitPortal.com

Fruit and vegetable distribution optimization gets a tech upgrade with Waruwa

New ways of managing produce distribution - from the hands of growers to displays at supermarkets and the plate you eat at your local dining spot - require innovation and tech-savvy logistics. Colombian Waruwa is a platform that provides that.

By optimizing fruit and veggie distribution, it acts as an intermediary between producers and their destinations.

The company's creator Nelson Rodriguez told FreshFruitPortal.com the story behind Waruwa, that now has more than 1,000 producers and 300 products registered.

When it comes to produce distribution in Latin America, Rodriguez says that there are simply too many middle-men - an excess of intermediaries complicates the process.

Waruwa sought to solve this problem, so that there wouldn't have to be so many actors involved throughout the supply chain.

Simplifying relationships between farmers and sellers

So, "what our technology does is reduce the number of people involved in this process", he explained. In order to do this, Waruwa visits growers on site to resolve the specific, diverse set of problems that they face.

That way, fruits and vegetables arrive to Waruwa's distribution sites without any complications - streamlining the process from the very beginning.

In the past, the platform offered produce to restaurants, grocers and mom-and-pop stores

Nowadays, their platform works with producers reaching within a 300-kilometer radius. Rodriguez noted that the "diversity of fruits and vegetables in the country allows us to work within a small space that has a lot of variety".

This means that the final buyer "doesn't have to flirt with the risk that this would imply".

Rodriguez went on to explain how things work. The "final user simply enters the platform to see the products. Our stock is based on information that we receive from the platform about trends in demand".

Along with fixing prices, the platform solves issues of possible misunderstanding that lead to mistrust between producers and sellers.

"The producers were reluctant to commercialize their products with new sellers because they had bad experiences in the past. For example, sellers who wanted those products - like restaurants or supermarkets - also found that the producers weren't providing them what they needed a lot of the times," he detailed.

In this way, Waruwa also takes on the issue of distance since producers are often in the outskirts of Bogota while sellers are in the city.

Growth for Waruwa

Waruwa currently does about 200 shipments daily and is growing by 30% each month. One of its main goals for the upcoming months is to expand to other big cities in Latin America.

For the moment, though, it works for five areas in Colombia and it's also looking to expand to areas with a lot of fruits and vegetables. However, since a lot of attractive areas are located in conflict zones in the country, it's difficult for Waruwa to send produce to other big cities, it said.

Another goal the company has is to continue growing the base of producers, not only to have producers registered on the platform, but to also "interact and work hand-and-hand with them".

"Our technology helps us optimize the process, cut back on labor and continue thinking about the manual labor that the field workers do - which is also very important," explained Rodriguez.

Photo: Waruwa