Between a farmer selling his harvest and the product arriving in stores and ultimately being sold to the consumer there is a long chain of intermediaries, and each link in that chain takes a percentage of the final price. But small producers find it especially difficult to offer their harvests to consumers at lower, more affordable costs as a result of this chain of intermediaries. To help them, the young Mexican Adrián García has created INFOOD, an online platform which connects small agricultural producers with end consumers, thereby eliminating middlemen and their commissions. This project has led to García´s inclusion in MIT Technology Review, Spanish Edition´s Innovators Under 35 Mexico 2016 awards.
Although García comes from a family that is not connected to farming, he has always been interested in agriculture. He received an undergraduate degree in biotechnology from the Autonomous University of Querétaro (Mexico) and this year he finished his PhD with a thesis on organic crops at the Center of Advanced Research and Studies at the National Polytechnic Institute (Mexico). While he was writing his thesis, he realized that "producers want to reach people directly, and more proof of certification of the quality of their products." But in his opinion, the technological advances in this field "are designed to benefit large producers, not small producers."
So García has done the opposite. Producers register on his platform and "provide the most important product information," he explains. Then, INFOOD visits each producer and offers a service which certifies the origin and other aspects of their products through a QR code label.
Consumers can also visit INFOOD´s platform to search for the product they wish to purchase. They only need to fill out a form to allow producers to present their commercial offerings to them. With this information, it is the buyer who decides to contact the most attractive producer and finalize the transaction. "This [process] reduces the number of intermediaries, which increases the profit margin for the producers." But García points out further benefits afforded by his platform: "It also allows the consumer to provide feedback to the producers, which benefits them by allowing them to adapt to market needs."Since the launch of the platform earlier this year, over 100 Mexican producers have registered and the platform has several regular buyers. "
Discover all of the winning projects from Innovators Under 35 Mexico 2016