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Published on Tuesday 28 May 2019

Optimising business with HelloChoice

Graeme

Graeme (right) discussing crop information with his pack house manager Justin Le Roux

GoldenGrow is a division of The Jarvie Group, who are a family owned investment business with special ties to Agri-business. With their philosophy of discovering better ways of doing things, the group always strives to be at the forefront of optimizing production and resources using the latest technologies and innovations. HelloChoice spoke to GoldenGrow partner Graeme Jarvie about how the Platform has optimised their business processes.

With their roots in agriculture, the Jarvies started GoldenGrow – which is the umbrella brand for their potatoes, maize, dry beans, macadamia nuts and beef. This will be their fifth season of planting under this brand, and a further 15 years of growing vegetables for Graeme Jarvie.

It was due to a real life problem for farmers like Graeme Jarvie that resulted in the birth of HelloChoice – a platform that could digitise information and provide value to all players.

“During the short but gruelling three-month harvesting season, we would have to make contact with all of the buyers we had in our contact list to market our potatoes, haggling over price and volume every day for the entire season. We were limited to who we knew and the relationships we had nurtured over time. Debtor management was also an issue for some time after the season had ended,” said Graeme.

He said that the process of moving over to the HelloChoice platform was not difficult, but rather it was simply a different way of thinking.

“As a farmer or pack house manager, you will need to be more organised at the start of the day to ensure you having an understanding of what is coming out of the fields and what stock you can commit to in order to be able to list your product on the site. Having said that, HelloChoice alleviates other daily tasks by marketing your products on a mass scale and helps the farmer determine their price, which means less price & volume haggling each day,” said Graeme.

At 9:30 when the bid is over, you know who you are selling to, at what price and are secure in the knowledge that the HelloChoice system has secured payment prior to loading your product.

“A pack list is also sent by HelloChoice, which is a great pack house management tool to make use of, helping to streamline the administration for the day,” said Graeme.
Once photos are taken and the volume/mix is determined for that day, the listing part is extremely simple. The system is configured with all of the product information, making it very easy for the farmer to select his product, price, variety, grade and packaging unit all at the click of a drop down arrow.

While the team at GoldenGrow have great relationships in place with their local retailers and Buyers, the Platform has allowed them to broaden their exposure to many more regional Buyers and as the Buyer network increases, those possible connections increase too.

Payment security is another question asked by sceptics, but Graeme confirms that payment is secured via direct EFT within 4 hours of the bid closing, which definitely alleviates that debtor risk for the farmer.

“Getting the pricing insights from an independent source every morning also helps to ensure our start price is accurate. The HelloChoice finance team let you know once the Buyer has paid and then you are able load. All you need to do is send them the delivery note, once the truck has left and ensure that this matches your supplier invoice and you receive payment within 2-3 days,” said Graeme.

He said that the Platform will most certainly help other farmers to streamline their businesses by reducing the administration needed as well as:Advertising products to a broader audience & making new connections.

  • Price discovery mechanism (reducing price haggling).
  • Pack house management tool (HelloChoice pack list is sent that helps structure what product has been sold to which Buyer and at what price.
  • Better control over Debtors.
  • Logistic is no longer an issue as the Buyer collects directly from the farm.

“Creating this universe of Buyers and Sellers through HelloChoice, allows Buyers to have access to more stock & possible new products that they didn’t have access to before. It also allows Sellers exposure to new markets – which could result in growing new crops,” said Graeme.