FarmHedge: Coordinate your buying decisions with other farmers

When done right, agri-business is built on strong personal connections and integrity. The farm inputs that farmers buy have to do the job intended and farmers need to have confidence that they can rely on their supplier.

New approaches to doing business are possible with existing technologies and farmers are now using their smartphones to help them make decisions, connect with agri-businesses and access useful information.

“Throughout history, farmers have cooperated with each other, organising themselves to reduce risk and work more efficiently – this takes time, effort and resources,” said John Garvey, who holds a PhD in Financial Economics.

“If you make it easy for them to coordinate their decisions – then they will benefit financially and they can access new opportunities.”

FarmHedge Co-Founders, John Garvey and Bernardino Frola

In 2017, John joined forces with Dublin-based computer engineer Bernardino Frola to find a solution to this challenge.

After months spent testing their idea with farmers in Germany and Austria, they came up with a system that is now being used by two major European agri-businesses.

Garvey and Frola’s company is now being used to help these agri-businesses coordinate the sale of farm inputs and the procurement of grain and oilseed crops.

‘Efficiency in agri-business’

There is no doubt that their ideas offer huge potential to improve communication and create efficiency in agri-business.

Garvey describes FarmHedge simply as a new way to connect farmers and agri-businesses.

It keeps all the important features of a traditional agri-business – the personal connection and the privacy expected by farmers.

“As a farmer, FarmHedge gives you a new option,” said Garvey. “It is different because using the mobile app you can easily coordinate your buying decisions with other farmers.”

This creates value both for farmers and the agri-business that makes offers on the platform.

Clippers Ireland is one company that has recognised the value of partnering with FarmHedge. “The platform allows us to set a target volume for our product and attach an improved price for that volume.”

Its current offers on FarmHedge include the Tuber Calf Starter, Single Cluster Portable Milking Machine and Cattle Clippers.

Sales lead with Clippers Ireland Dermot O’Riordan said that using FarmHedge complements its existing sales channel and benefits its customers who collaborate to buy on the mobile app.

Clippers Ireland is also excited to exclusively introduce an award-winning animal weighing and management system as part of its product range.

Dermot O’Riordan Clippers Ireland getting ready to ship another portable milking machine

How it works

Garvey’s company works by charging agri-business companies a flat monthly license fee, while farmers can use the mobile app without any charge.

They already have more than 20 local agri-businesses receiving request alerts from farmers using the FarmHedge app (Figure 1).

Figure 1: Typical FarmHedge SMS alert received by an agri-business. The agri-business can then go to the FarmHedge portal where it has a simple and secure way to make an offer to Robbie and include other farmers in the offer

These companies then have the option to log in to the secure FarmHedge portal and simply identify the farmers they want to receive the offer (Figure 2).

Figure 2: Current offer from Clippers Ireland. Farmers using the app can access better prices once a specific volume of machines is bought

For agri-business companies using FarmHedge, traditional and costly ways of communicating to farmers are replaced with a simple way to make timely offers, specifying who they want to reach.

FarmHedge doesn’t require agri-businesses to buy any software and simple a one-hour onboarding session will get them up and running and making offers on any product they have in – from machinery parts and spares to fertiliser.

And for farmers using the app, they have a simple and secure way to indicate the products they want and even book those products with the community of other farmers using the app.

“It’s really a solution for the agri-business market that benefits both sides of the transaction – farmers and the companies they deal with,” concluded Garvey.

Dairy farmer Adrian Brooks from Co. Clare using the Tuber Calf Starter he booked through the FarmHedge app

Further information

If you are an agri-business interested in using FarmHedge, you can contact the team at: farmhedge.io/agribusinesses/.

Or simply Click here

The FarmHedge mobile app is free for farmers to download on Android and iOS.