By Leonardo Gottems, Reporter for AgroPages
“E-commerce is a sales channel that cannot be ignored, as it accounted for 12% of worldwide sales last year and moved $61 billion in goods in Brazil in 2018, a 15% increase over the previous year,” according to Gustavo Barbosa, commercial director of Luft Solutions, while speaking at the 9th Andav Congress, held last week in São Paulo, Brazil.
According to Barbosa, a logistics specialist, Brazilian agricultural input distributors need to find mechanisms to introduce e-commerce into its business strategies. Advice was also offered by participants in a panel entitled, “Competitiveness: Distributors Challenges to Staying Competitive and Above All Relevant”.
Another panelist, Luciano Daher, Syngenta's commercial director, said he agrees with Barbosa's analysis of thinking of e-commerce as a sales alternative, but stressed that the distributor must remain in touch with the farmer. “E-commerce is important, but the distribution entrepreneur must, first and foremost, do the simple thing he has always done, by providing personalized service, speeding up the response to customer demands and gaining scale,” he said, noting that a distributor aligned with its customers will always have its place in the market.
Regarding competitiveness, the panel's main issue, moderated by Antonio Henrique, chairman of the Board of Directors of the National Association of Agricultural and Veterinary Input Distributors (ANDAV), Matheus Consoli, partner in the Markestrat Group, noted that the distributor's biggest challenge is having to deal with a producer who is better informed and more professional, including having a new generation in charge of business.
In the area of e-commerce, at the end of last year Brazil saw the opening of its first online store selling agricultural inputs and implements, InstaAgro, a startup of the AgTech segment, of Brazilian origin, and funded with American and European capital. Through this online platform it is possible to purchase fertilizers, pesticides and seeds, among other products.
“Our initiative is premised on logistical excellence and full attention to the 'bottom of the pyramid', that is, those three to four million small farmers who, until today, have not been satisfactorily served by traditional industries and channels. This is our first target audience and we will empower this farmer not only with more offers but, above all, with more transparency and knowledge,” said Rodrigo Santini, co-founder and CMO (Chief Marketing Officer) of InstaAgro.
The Forum of the 9th ANDAV Congress had as its theme: “The Distributor 4.0”, and addressed the barriers encountered by the distributor of agricultural inputs, highlighting smart solutions. In addition, the 2nd Meeting of Women in Distribution discussed issues related to leadership, succession and professional development. There were also three workshops as part of the EDUCANDAV, ANDAV training program, with the themes sales and marketing, financing and barter.
attended the event and distributed its latest magazine, titled, “2019 Latin America Focus
.” Readers are welcome to download the digital magazine.