The VeeMee platform, founded five years ago with the aim of increasing the competitiveness of domestic agricultural production, should be upgraded by the end of this year and thus become the largest marketplace, or online store of food produced in Croatia. This is announced by Marko Kozjak, co-founder and director of VeeMee.
Today, VeeMee gathers more than 2,000 thousand producers, mostly from Croatia, but also from Greece and Spain, and by the end of the year, Kozjak points out, all of them should have a unique online place to sell their products. The director of VeeMee explains that his main motive for starting the marketplace, which should be the largest in Croatia when it is launched, is the chaos that currently reigns in the online sale of local food.
“Today, if a customer, for example, wants to buy kale from a domestic producer, it is extremely complicated for him. When he enters kale into the search engine, he will get thousands of information about kale, but it will be difficult to find the producer, that is, the person.
VeeMee is conceived as Google, but for shopping for local food. When the consumer enters kale into our search engine, he will be able to select a region and get an overview of kale producers. So they will be able to buy the desired food easily and directly online.
Therefore, VeeMee’s goal is to centralize the web shop, to unite manufacturers in one place, because now they are scattered and so often invisible to consumers,” explains Kozjak. Currently, he says, they are working on upgrading the platform, on payment solutions, and organizing logistics.
“We want to enable more logistics options. We want to offer a solution to the route and cost of delivery to the small ones, and to the large ones the establishment of a central warehouse through which sales would go,” he points out.
Also, for existing users who have a producer identity (PID) on the VeeMee platform, web sales would be a bonus, i.e. the price of the packages they currently pay would not increase, reveals Kozjak, adding that by launching a digital marketplace, their goal is to attract new, small producers who are aimed at web sales.
The additional competitiveness of the platform is precisely the price, because the premium package paid by producers on the VeeMee platform is currently 300 euros per year, and when the marketplace, i.e. online sales, comes to life, the price will remain the same.
In addition, VeeMee’s solution should increase internet sales of domestic agricultural products, which are currently very low, and even the state platform Tržnica.hr launched due to the pandemic, failed to increase. And it is low, says Kozjak, because the price of creating a web shop, which ranges from 650 to 7000 euros, is expensive and difficult to amortize. But through a centralized platform for online food purchases, such as VeeMee plans to launch, that should change.
Even today, through our platform, customers can order food by phone or email. But we have noticed that manufacturers often do not respond to emails. By setting up the VeeMee web shop, the order will arrive via SMS, WhatsApp, or email, and the manufacturer will have to confirm it”, says the co-founder of VeeMee, who, together with his former partner Nikola Vid, launched the first neutral identification of origin (PID) and thus made it possible through a QR code customers to digitally check the product and manufacturer, i.e. where it comes from and what path the food they consume has passed through.
Today, such a QR code has more than 25 thousand tons of food, which allows customers to easily check its origin and traceability. It is the concept that gives them security because they know where the food comes from. Manufacturers, through marketing campaigns run by VeeMee, get visibility, and suppliers get a verified manufacturer and traceability of goods.
“Last year, our visibility on social networks increased by 36 percent to 700,000 people,” Kozjak points out. In addition, he adds, the concept that they work contributes to socially useful goals, such as reducing the amount of wasted food and greenhouse gas emissions.
“With smart logistics, we save more than a thousand tons of food annually, and we reduce the emission of greenhouse gases by that much,” says Kozjak, emphasizing that they are focused on the result in everything they do, and the same will be true with the webshop.
The company, whose primary goal is complete data transparency in agricultural production, food traceability, and increased production, finances all new projects from its own income. And they grew by 40 percent last year and will amount to between HRK 1.2 and 1.35 million.
In order to increase them, last year they marketed their own range of veggie products – veggie eco hummus, veggie eco burgers and dehydrated fruit, orange, lemon and lime. They also started the production of microgreens.
“This assortment should enable us to earn more, and therefore more investments in our future projects, from the marketplace to some others,” Kozjak points out. Ultimately, according to the co-founder of VeeMee, everything they do is aimed at increasing production capacity, which, as is known, does not even meet domestic needs.
If the platform had a larger base, then we could do accurate analyzes of supply and demand and thus direct producers to a specific production, i.e. to what is in demand, but is not sufficiently represented on the market. Everything they do is in service of this goal.
Article source: Poslovni dnevnik – https://www.poslovni.hr/hrvatska/uskoro-najveca-web-platforma-za-prodaju-hrane-domacih-proizvodaca-4372810