Increasingly, consumers want to "buy local," and there are plenty of farmers growing a bit of livestock or produce on the side to accommodate those market needs. The challenge therefore becomes distribution – how to get your harvest to potential buyers?
A startup called Peach with a mobile app by the same name hopes it has a solution, if a critical mass of users join. A beta version has just been launched, with the full version rolling out later this spring.
"Peach is super simple," says Mario Barrett, co-founder and president. "Just download the app and sign up. After we complete a verification process [usually within 24 hours], you can start uploading your products."
By "products," he means several dozen types of fruits, vegetables, grains, meat and more. Because the startup company is located in Austin, Texas, Barrett says many of the first sign-ups have been from area livestock producers – a promising customer because around 100 Austin-based restaurants alone proudly use locally sourced beef.
Here’s how it works. Sellers (i.e. farmers) enter their inventory into the system. Then, buyers that include local restaurants, groceries, schools and others can browse these inventories to find and purchase local ingredients for their businesses. Order management, notifications, chat and other features help streamline and simplify the experience, Barrett says.
"In many ways, buying and selling at the local level is still very old school," Barrett says. "We wanted to create a kind of Amazon for produce, and because most people have smartphones, a mobile platform made the most sense."
The app is currently available for iPhone and iPad, with an Android version coming soon. For more information, go to http://usepeach.com/.