In the business of growing, exporting, and marketing fruits and vegetables for the North American market, if there is not continuous improvement, there will simply be no future. This is a demanding and unforgiving industry, where meeting expectations simply allows you to stay in business.
What historically makes the produce industry so complex, is that to achieve success, strategic allies related to your business model are required. In other words, a grower can achieve control of productivity, efficiency, competitiveness, quality and even sustainability, but to achieve profitability, your distribution partner needs to be equally committed to their effort. Otherwise, even with total dominance in your business, a poor choice of who will represent you commercially, could be the difference between success and failure.
Because when the goal is excellence, the work will be tireless. Continuous improvement is mandatory, and investments in technology, supplies and methodology to achieve the goals in a timely manner will never cease. And this is why the need to be in the right circle of allies is key.
The traditional model of importing fruits and vegetables to the United States already needs to evolve, and because of this need, the ProducePay proposal arises. This is an innovative model to promote precisely that business is achieved through a network of companies committed to excellence, changing the way in which growers and distributors carried out their transactions in a traditional way, in a perhaps outdated model that dates back more than 60 years.
The difference lies in the concept, since this is not a model of intermediaries, but rather a nucleus of alliances supported by the commitment of those who make it up; including the production, distribution, input suppliers and financial follow-up services to operations, and the benefits that ProducePay offers to strengthen commercial relationships within the core of its network, and thus, promote the success of all the parts that comprise it.
The ProducePay network of allies was conceived as a membership full of services, benefits and advantages for those who make it up, but at the same time, making clear the rights and obligations that allow the model to create the conditions that precisely make the difference.
A producer who joins the network is entitled to various benefits and services that are grouped into the following categories:
Within the circle of allies of ProducePay, there is a network of reliable growing operations, who have been selected and validated for their good business practices, certifications, quality, and social responsibility. This allows the distributor to select the one that suits him best, within a group of companies that will not fail.
Likewise, there is a selection of input suppliers, equipment and infrastructure, which have not only been validated and selected for their effectiveness and quality, but also offer preferential rates and the support of ProducePay in financing systems and payment terms for the grower.
The model is transparent and efficient, since to enter the group, a validation is required. This validation is carried out as a registration fee in the amount of one thousand dollars for the grower and no fee for the distributor. The cost for the grower for the commercialization of his product is only 1% of the value of the transactions carried out and for the distributor is .25% per shipment (in comparison to competitor’s options where the average commission is in the 10% range). An account executive responsible for monitoring each of the operations is assigned, ensuring that these flow correctly and that payments are executed on time within a maximum period of 30 days.
ProducePay guarantees payments. As the main benefit of the network, any invoice pending payment will be paid through ProducePay, trying to respect the agreed period of 30 days. That, in case of falling into any type of controversy, the arbitration service is provided for a fair resolution, backed by the PACA Law (“Perishable Agricultural Products Act of 1930”), which is supported by the Department of Agriculture of the United States of America (USDA). ProducePay has the corresponding operating licenses, which supports any operation between its associated network, as if they were its own, under the laws and guidelines of the United States.
The model allows timely financing for both, agricultural operations, or working capital commonly referred to as the “pick and Pack” for up to 80% of the value of total sales, and / or for the purchase of inputs and equipment, financing up to 10% of the total value of production for the current season.
5. Peace of mind
In ProducePay’s network of allies, there are no surprises or secrets, there is total transparency. The destination of the merchandise, the end customer, market conditions and timely feedback on the qualities and packaging conditions are always known. Therefore, timely and complete information becomes the source of peace of mind for the members of the network.
What are the conditions to enter this Network?
For growers, the membership fee must be paid, which is invested in its validation, since all members must go through this process, which guarantees the integrity of the model.
Payment of 1% on the total billing as a fee, and payment of services and rights.
Growers must be direct exporters with experience, comply with the requirements of the destination market, both legal and commercial, that is, be competitive in terms of safety and food safety, social responsibility, and have the minimum capacity to export a full shipment per week, maintaining their integrity, quality, and safety of the product during the life of the agreed season.
They must present a production program, consistent with their infrastructure, technology, protocols, and facilities for postharvest, and commit to the conditions and regulations of the network of allies of ProducePay.
ProducePay’s vision goes beyond being just another company in the market that connects fruit and vegetable exporters with distributors in the United States. Its vision goes further. It is about innovating, changing and completely revolutionizing the way in which distributors and producers interact commercially. It is about creating harmonious conditions, so that each one dedicates himself to what he should, and can continue to develop excellence.
ProducePay’s mission is to bring transparency, predictability, and fairness to the fragmented and opaque $300 billion global fresh produce market.