A new agro-food initiative called WARUWA is combining e-commerce, logistics, agrotech and environmental justice in Latin America. WARUWA is a farm-to-business platform connecting farmers with restaurants, local groceries, schools, and hotels. Within seven months, the startup has already contributed to serving over ten million plates through its network of customers.
WARUWA founder Nelson Rodrigues Hernandez said, “We are a B2B farm-to restaurant platform that is reshaping fruit and vegetable chains in Latin America. So far, we have served over 8 million plates to our customers (restaurants, retailers, schools, hospitals), supported by more than 1000 small farmers’ families. Currently, we are offering more than 300 types of fruits and vegetables, making them affordable to everyone. We are committed to our vision of promoting agro-diversity and plant-based diets.”
The platform has attracted over 1000 customers, supported by a network of more than 1200 small farmers. Even better, the young startup has reportedly grown an average of 30 percent per month, all while reducing the price of fruits and vegetables by 30% compared to mainstream market values.
Overall, WARUWA strives to strengthen the production chain for fruits and vegetables in Colombia. From the sellers’ perspective, benefits range from optimal pricing, transparency, risk management as well as buyer synergy. All the while, consumers benefit by accessing some of the most affordable fresh food in Colombia. Despite Colombia’s agriculture sector diminishing in GDP value, there’s still high domestic demand, not to mention lots of biodiversity. Frequently, though, rural farming families don’t benefit from the market conditions due to logistical challenges and heavy third-party intermediation. As a result, consumers also pay high prices.
At its core, WARUMA eliminates the need for middle-men throughout the supply chain, which ultimately lowers consumer prices. Thanks to its logistics network, the Colombian startup personally transports the goods between sellers and buyers. “That’s why we foster associativity as a mechanism to improve production and logistics processes in rural areas because we believe that this is the way to achieve economic sustainability.”
Moving forward, it also hopes to use more statistics and data that they collect in the field. This way, it’ll be better able to reduce the volatility of fruit and vegetable prices in Colombia, and potentially, the rest of Latin America. Ultimately, WARUMA hopes to be able to predict stock prices within the industry effectively.