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jan 19, 2017
Innovation and technology

Startup Tribo Viva connects city dwellers with fresh produce

Brazilians get their fresh food from either the supermarket or street fairs. But for those who don’t have the time to shop, the “collaborative economy” platform Tribo Viva brings fresh produce to their door. By cutting out the middleman and eliminating distribution costs, the products offered by the startup can be up to 200% cheaper than in the supermarkets.

 

Since its launch in July 2015, Tribo Viva has sold over 4,000 of its produce baskets. The baskets contain anywhere from eight to twelve items, including fresh vegetables, fruits, grains, herbs, eggs and juices. They cost between $10 to $15, and customers can buy up to three baskets per offer. The baskets are delivered by a co-op of cyclists, who charge on average $5 for every trip of up to 5km.

 

The startup is currently functioning in the southern Brazilian city of Porto Alegre, in Rio Grande do Sul, and plans to expand to Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, and Curitiba by the first semester of 2017.

 

Tribo Viva, meaning “live tribe”, gets the produce for the baskets by connecting with small, local farmers with coordinators who put up their own homes as collection locations. Those who participate in the system receive a free food basket in exchange and a certain cut of the profits. Its system allows farmers to personally schedule the produce pickup, avoiding food waste.

 

“At the street markets, we have to organize our own space, but with the pickups we just hand our produce over. It’s a lot faster and also guarantees the customer the best price,” said Osmar Bedende, a local farmer in the Porto Alegre region, to the Brazilian press in December.

 

According to professor Pedro Costa of the Center for the Study of Alternative Administration at the Federal University of Rio Grande Do Sul (UFRGS), the startup incentivizes people to participate in environmentally friendly economic alternatives. “Technology is helping this type of consumption to grow with greater force,” said Costa to the Brazilian press.

 

Indeed, customers are encouraged by cheaper prices to cut out the middle man, decreasing transportation pollution as well as food waste. One 25-year-old publicity agent, Louise Carpenedo, explains how using Tribo Viva helped her get easy access to fresh foods which she lacked before. “I wasn’t able to go to the street markets due to distance and my work hours,” she said in an interview with a Brazilian newspaper. Young working professionals are especially attracted to the platform’s service, which is adaptable to each person’s schedule. In fact, Tribo Viva already counts 3,100 customers, a number which is growing daily.