Sumá is a fair trade platform that conects directly family farmers with regular food buyers. Although family farming is responsible for about 70% of Brazil's food production, farmers are part of a chain with many actors who pay poorly who plants and charges a lot of those who buy. Sumá seeks to increase the qualification of rural communities, especially the youth, so that family farming can achieve fairer markets and a better quality of life. Sumá is a web platform and a app with a qualification module for family farmers sell their products for markets that . For assist the farmer in this new way of farm management, Sumá has a specific module for extension agents, very common in developing countries such as Brazil. With the inputs being upload in the system, the farmers, their stories and most of all their harvests will be displayed in a map. The buyers have their own module which they will be able to search for products they need and see if they are on season. If they aren’t, the system will suggest more sustainable menus and orders based on criteria such as distance for delivery. The trades are based in transparency and traceability, and will be displayed for all the parts, such as the transport company, that will be choose by the farmer in fair trade register available in Sumá.
In 5 years, we believe that Sumá will have transformed the reality of many families in the countryside, bringing fresh and healthy food to restaurants. As is happening, for example, with the Morro Redondo Family Farmers' Cooperative, which is part of Sumá and reached in its first contract an income of R $ 18 thousand for 10 families with a restaurant located less than 35 km from the headquarters of cooperative. The technology identified production and regional demands, shortening a chain in which the actors did not know each other. We believe that the technology developed for family agriculture is in the DNA of Sumá and is changing the way it is negotiated fairly in the countryside, as well as the permanence of young people on farms.
Sumá works with individual farmers and cooperatives (organized groups). With each new registration a professional makes a field visit with the application and makes an assessment to understand the level that this user is in relation to the requirements of the buyers and what the follow-up he needs. From that moment on, the app and the web system will give support with occasional visits from the professional. The technological roadmap includes the intense development of functionalities that reduce face-to-face visits by artificial intelligence and chatbots, guaranteeing growth with stable costs. The estimated market size of family farmers who demand support for marketing their products in Brazil is 5 million families. We have professionals for commercial approach in restaurants, industrial canteens, hospitals, schools, penitentiaries and others. With the demands and the agricultural production mapped, the realization of the curation promotes an exponential scale gain. In September 2017 at the launch of the platform we had 8 families and 03 buyers, we currently have more than 2000 families and over 200 regular buyers.
The metrics used to measure our success is:
- Increased income of skilled/qualified farmers (R $) / month.
- Index of payment of agricultural financing of family farmers (R $)
- Index / schooling level of family farmers and family members (%)
- Quantity of products tracked by Sumá (kg) / month.
- Index of reduction of food waste in kitchens that purchase food via Sumá (%).
Our main objectives are:
- 2000 skilled/qualified family farmers by 2019;
- 750 farmers selling at least R$ 2,000.00 per month in 2019;
- 150 buyers buying products from Sumá in 2019.
Our main risks are:
Access to the internet in developing countries can still be a complex factor in developing a solution based on online technology. Therefore, due to our experience in similar projects, Sumá has a close relationship with Associations and Trade Unions that generally serve as a meeting point for family farmers and have internet available for unrestricted use by farmers. The entire Sumá system is available in offline format for instant synchronization when capturing internet signal. In addition, we have the support of professionals who periodically visit farmers to monitor crop management, and can now participate more actively in the commercialization process.
Other risk that we’ve been monitoring relates to logistics. Sumá's goal is to shorten the food distribution chain by offering direct or shorter routes between family farmers and food buyers. However, we are seeing startups that have already raised large volumes of investment fail in this area. Therefore, our strategy to reduce this risk is based on the logic of consuming as close as possible to where the food is produced and through this intelligence map register distributors aligned with fair trade criteria. MVP has shown that these distributors are the more mature farmers who have already developed logistical solutions for their business and are aware of the difficulties in the field, which is why they understand Sumá's business model. We believe that these personas exist in all communities and they are crucial for a fairer chain.
Sumá reflects the need for systemic changes in an millennial chain that affects different parts with very distant characteristics.The main innovation of Sumá in relation to other solutions lies in the qualification of the family farmers on aspects of the rural business. Sumá has three learning and development modules covering Property Management, Production Management and Market and Clients. Each level of service qualifies the farmer for a specific market by increasing the efficiency of business contacts and contracts directly. From Mrs. Maria, a lunch lady interviewed in a public school, who told us how food lasts longer when delivered directly by the producer, to Mr. Amilton who changed his life after poisoning himself with pesticides, Sumá wishes through information and technology to encourage the weakest links in the food supply chain to change their situations and thereby make a whole system cleaner, healthier and safer.
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