Much of the fresh produce that arrives on our plates travels from the farms to the central wholesale markets inside our capital cities. These central markets are not just distribution points they are trading hubs. It is very likely that your local greengrocer travels into the central markets every week to inspect produce, negotiate terms and organise delivery. As a result, the commercial trading of fresh produce has typically been conducted face to face in those central markets. However, at present and into the foreseeable future and due to current movement restrictions, digital solutions have never been more vital.
Australian tech company the HiveXchange was created to form a digital version of the central market trading environment and is the brainchild of chairman and co-founder Damian George. George is also a non-executive director of Simon George & Sons, one of Australia’s largest and oldest wholesalers that goes back four generations. Having spent over 45 years working in the markets, saw the need for technological change in an industry steeped in outdated, inefficient and costly methods. In 2015 the idea to create a digital platform to increase efficiency by allowing businesses to streamline their communication, logistics, accounting and administration the HiveXchange was born.
Co-founder and CEO Antonio Palanca completes the other half of the partnership. Palanca is an experienced technology entrepreneur who brings a wealth of knowledge having worked in senior management positions with IBM, Sun and Optus and co-founded a number of successful businesses in the technology and supply chain areas both here and in Asia.
Together with their background and expertise they formed The HiveXchange. The platform works by allowing agents and buyers to view and privately bid for produce in real time and allows them to deliver a digital version of their produce to their customers and instantly respond to changes in supply and demand.
“We have made it really simple for central market agents to make their physical market digital. Fresh produce is complex, and a market agent typically has hundreds of commercial buyers and hundreds of SKU’s. What is truly unique about our IP is that in under an hour a market agent can streamline the entire process and have their buyers using the personalised mobile App with live market offers that are simple to update. No experience or infrastructure is required, all you need is a mobile device and our technology to set your business up with a private retail network.” said Palanca.
Given the current climate and restrictions on movement due to Covid-19, the HiveXchange has built a ‘lite’ no-cost version of the App to support the fresh produce industry at this critical time.
The announcement today will allow central market participants to use an Australian made digital solution to support the real time trade of fresh produce. This will support social distancing and allow organisations increasingly more flexibility to manage staffing challenges and cost containment. All market agents can visit hivexchange.com.au to sign up and read more.
The HiveXchange is Australia’s first Fresh Care certified digital trading platform and was founded in 2015. The technology was built by Australians for Australian conditions. Supporting perishable produce supply chains involves managing a range of risks around food safety, logistics, regulations, industry participants and thousands of consignment criterion. The HiveXchange created a new form of e-commerce to manage these challenges called trustbased e-commerce or “t-ecommerce™”.