ProducePay and Four Star Fruit have launched the fresh produce industry’s first-of-its-kind direct-to-retail supply chain program.
Using the ProducePay platform and Four Star Fruit’s expertise in table grapes, this initiative helps U.S. national retailers meet year-round demand for high quality fresh produce while also keeping prices stable for consumers.
ProducePay believes the success of this industry-first table grapes program with Four Star Fruit will be the first of many commodities to adopt this direct-to-retail procurement model.
By connecting table grape growers and retailers, and making investments in sustainable growing practices, traceability and product quality, this transformational model has positive impacts throughout the fresh produce supply chain.
In addition to creating quality, supply and pricing assurance for retailers, this approach offers growers greater long-term financial sustainability, and by eliminating much of the unnecessary intermediaries in today’s current fresh produce supply chain, helps to reduce economic and food waste.
“Meeting retailer demand for year-round high quality table grapes consistently in an increasingly unpredictable world requires reimagining how we grow and source,” said Jack Campbell, CEO for Four Star Fruit.
“Starting with grapes, our partnership with ProducePay ushers in a new era that will better serve retailers by creating a more stable and sustainable supply chain. We look forward to expanding this innovative model and partnership to other fresh produce commodities.”
With operations in California and parts of Mexico, Four Star Fruit is able to meet demand during peak grape production in late spring, summer and early fall. Through this partnership, Four Star Fruit is using ProducePay’s network of trusted Mexican and South American growers, expanding its production capacity into the late fall and winter.
ProducePay will also provide quality enforcement, order tracking and trade mediation to ensure delivery from its network of growers, as well as give retailers price stability through multi-year fixed pricing contracts. The program also uses ProducePay’s Quick-Pay solution to pay participating growers following quality acceptance of their shipment.
With known pricing, committed long-term contracts and cash-in-hand, growers have the capital needed to plant more and invest in operational improvements and sustainable best practices to ensure reliability in future harvests.
“With today’s announcement, we’re improving on the antiquated way in which the fresh produce supply chain has been structured for decades,” said Patrick McCullough, ProducePay CEO.
“By directly connecting retailers with growers, this transformational initiative is creating the stability required throughout the supply chain to reduce economic and food waste, while improving overall quality experience for consumers. Four Star Fruit is a leader in fresh produce, and we are excited to expand this program to other regions and commodities for even greater impact.”