How farmers are cutting out supermarkets

Giving up police work to grow passion fruit might be considered an unconventional career move, but that is what Sergio Quijada Domínguez did when a hereditary heart condition forced him to retire at the age of 32 after 14 years in Spain’s Guardia Civil.

Quijada, who has about 1,500 plants on his farm near Vélez-Málaga in southern Spain, found he was good at growing passion fruit – what he lacked was the know-how to sell them. “It was the tool I was missing,” he says. “I had my product, and I wanted to sell it directly to the consumer, but I had no way of doing that, and normal distributors added a lot to the price.”

It was the man who delivered his cardboard packing cases who suggested he approach CrowdFarming, a one-stop shop to handle administration and logistics and link customers directly with farmers.

CrowdFarming was founded in 2017 by orange farmer Gonzalo Úrculo and his brother Gabriel, who wanted to get a fair price for their produce by cutting out the middleman. The site now hosts 182 farms in 12 countries with 500,000 consumers.


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