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Agruppa is committed to improving access to cheaper fruits and vegetables and ensuring that more people have the chance to eat fresh, healthy produce – no matter where they live. Small Mom-and-Pop stores are the key to make this a reality.
In Colombia, there are more than 340,000* small stores, who together sell 70%* of the food consumed in the country. Since each shop sells to around 25 regular household clients, with one Agruppa Distribution Outlet, which supplies 300 vendors, we can reach up to 30,000 people with high quality, lower priced fruits and vegetables.
Small-scale food vendors are the gatekeepers of what people eat in low-income neighborhoods. However, they face a major challenge: they lack sufficient capital to buy produce in bulk, and the competition is often so fierce that they don’t team up to solve this.
Consequently, small shop owners in Bogotá spend around 15 hours per week and up to 20% of their income traveling to faraway markets where they currently purchase their stock. To do this, they get up at 3 AM multiple times per week – traveling at unsafe hours and missing out on family time.
These inefficient practices do not only take a toll on food vendors’ profitability and quality of life. They also result in high priced fruits and vegetables for their customers, who opt for cheaper, but less nutritional food choices.
Agruppa exists to tackle this challenge and operates with a double social purpose.
- Economic Empowerment of small food vendors
First and foremost, Agruppa empowers the Mom-and-Pop shops it supplies. By saving them time and money on transport, and giving them access to wholesale prices, it improves their business and enhances the quality of life of shop owners.
- Improved access to fruits and vegetables in low-income communities
Agruppa gives its customers better prices on high quality, nutritious produce. These lower input prices encouraging food vendors to lower their prices for end-consumers – the same way they already react to price changes in the market. This results in them effectively making fruits and vegetables more affordable for everyone in their communities.
Mom-and-Pop shops are often run by couples, or whole families. These family businesses benefit from the Agruppa service and multiply our impact. With each shop supplying on average 25 households, one shop owner directly affects what 100 people in low-income communities buy and eat. So when they buy from Agruppa, vendors allow our discounts to reach this many people.