The “Catiba” application provides an online market place where growers list the fruit they have grown, how they plan to ship it and their price. Buyers then accept the offers they want, purchase the fruit and receive a reminder from Catiba when their shipment is due to arrive.
They reach overseas markets 24 hours a day and receive a fair price for their produce.
The European Union is one of many global markets the Catiba team want their growers to be able to access easily. The EU is the world’s biggest importer of fruit and vegetables and last year imported more than $110bn worth of agricultural produce.
The team behind the application say: “It comes from a real necessity to optimise and speed up the negotiation process of goods between suppliers and buyers. It enables professionals to sell or buy without restriction of time, place and phone calls. It has also been developed with experts and answers exactly to the traders’ needs in terms of access to the right information, friendly work solutions and confidentiality.”
Colombia is blessed with a range of climates and terrains and grows fruits from bananas, papaya and passion fruit to the lesser-known lulo, uchuva and zapote.
The country is one of the world’s biggest banana exporters, earning around $500m each year from the trade, even though bananas are Colombia’s third biggest export, behind coffee and flowers.
More than 90% of the bananas grown in Colombia are exported and most of them are grown in Urabá, Antioquia and north-east Magdalena. The bananas consumed by the domestic market are usually grown in Valle de Cauca and in Tolima.
Colombia, together with Ecuador and Costa Rica, helps supply more than 70% of Europe’s banana imports. The United States is Colombia’s second biggest banana customer.
Catiba executive manager Elodie Senatore said: “In the case of Colombia, a salesman only has the morning to work with his buyers in Europe, but on Catiba he can work all day and schedule it so a French or Dutch buyer receives it while he is sleeping.”
Around 50 companies have already signed up to use the application. They can adjust the price of the produce they list on the application, similar to an online auction site and they can also cater their prices confidentiality to certain sectors of the market.
Sellers approve buyers and vice versa so businesses only work with their chosen providers or clients. The app also warns buyers if they have offers that are about to expire, allowing them to adjust their prices to secure a sale.
Catiba can be used on smartphones, tablets and computers. Visit www.catiba.com.