Merging farming and e-commerce
(25 News Now) - Like all occupations, farming has changed with the times.
I visited local farmer Nick Carter to learn how he took his farm and others in the farming community into e-commerce.
My name is Nick Carter I’m the co-founder and CEO of Market Wagon.
So I started Market Wagon six years ago and it’s a business of passion for me -- I’m a farmer, I would’ve been a fourth generation farmer on the farm that I grew up on and -- it seems like we were going to be done farming on that farm.
Small family farms in the Midwest were kind of becoming a thing of the past and in order to stay in the business we had to find a way to get a high-value product to the consumers who wanted it -- and get direct to the consumer and online e-commerce technology was a way to do that.
So what’s unique about Market Wagon is our technology which is not only the e-commerce side -- we do have a state-of-the-art website where you can interact directly with the producers and consumers, talk directly, order directly from the farms.
Behind the scenes it’s the logistics technology that my partner and I built. my co-founder Dan is a logistics engineer with an MBA.
Food is a really complex logistics challenge. That’s what makes it so difficult to scale up our farmer’s market supply chain or local food supply chain. If you make a website you sell a head of lettuce, great! What you do next? You can’t drop ship that, and so what we’ve created is the technology that powers our fulfillment centers -- We’ve designed and operated fulfillment centers now in 32 cities around the Midwest and using the technology that we built it automates everything from inbound product flow temperature segregation, cartonization instructions, and the last mile fulfillment -- delivery piece so the drivers are working on our technology to deliver to the door.
So one of Market Wagon’s 32 fulfillment centers is in Central Illinois and its services Peoria and the surrounding area so if you go to MarketWagon.com and enter your zip code it’ll tell you if we deliver there. We deliver a lot of the rural counties -- we deliver to I think sixteen counties around Central Illinois.
There are well over forty producers - farmers just like you and me who are on the platform selling a product.
Local food is the most dependable food supply chain that we have and we’ve seen that through the pandemic. It’s the future of our grocery supply chain and we’re making that scalable and approachable for every consumer to be able to order local food online to get it delivered to your door from e-commerce.
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