A new online marketplace for fresh apples closed orders worth nearly €100,000 in its first day of fixed-price trading.
SmartMele, a brainchild of Italian startup eViso, was first created in February 2020, but until December 2021 it was used only for spot trading.
Now, it aims to revolutionize the apple market as the only platform in the world with long-term transaction capabilities. Above all, it says it offers a digital and legal infrastructure as well as a system of safeguards typical of real-world regulated markets.
The platform uses artificial intelligence to create a fully functioning Apple Marketplace, a marketplace where buyers and sellers can now agree fixed prices for future shipment delivery in three, six, 12 or more months.
The first recorded contract was signed between the Piedmontese producer Lagnasco Group and the international distributor Novafruit for five containers, approximately 100 tons of apples, at €88,000.
SmartMele also presents large volumes of insightful data on the US$87 billion global apple market in visual form. It recently signed strategic agreements with the Italian commodity price index BMTI and the research foundation Agrion to secure access to this information.
“The SmartMele trading platform has made it possible, anywhere in the world, to buy and sell containers of apples with future delivery at a fixed and agreed price,” explains eViso managing director Gianfranco Sorasio.
“In the coming months, we will focus on two fronts: on the one hand, we will work to increase the number of users on the platform, both buyers and sellers of apples; on the other hand, we will work on the digital operation of the platform, to ensure speed and efficiency on a large scale.
SmartMele’s business model is based on customers paying an annual fee, plus transaction fees based on the volume of goods traded.
A chance to plan ahead
Fabrizio Risso, President of Lagnasco Group, says his company sees SmarrtMele as an opportunity to make its apple sourcing business more predictable: “The entire supply chain is striving to plan more and protect itself from unexpected events”.
Luca Antonietti, Managing Director of Novafruit, comments: “Novafruit has always been attentive to innovations in the fruit sector, particularly in the apple, citrus, banana and grape markets. We are active in national and international markets.
“A new market has opened today where it is possible to sell and buy in the long term. Our large retailers who have long demanded innovation and long-term planning from us can now benefit from a unique product in the market.
“We are convinced that this new platform will have a positive impact not only nationally but also internationally. Novafruit exports Italian products worldwide, as well as products from North America, South America and South Africa.