BUFFALO, N.Y.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--iTradeNetwork, the leading global provider of end-to-end supply chain management and intelligence solutions for the perishable food industry, and local food platform Big Wheelbarrow have partnered to offer fresh products from small and mid-size producers to thousands of grocery stores in the United States and Canada.
With this partnership, iTradeNetwork customers can trade with an array of nearby farms and producers that they did not previously have access to. For grocers, the Big Wheelbarrow platform eliminates the additional overhead to work with smaller producers, and purchased products can be delivered directly to stores or to a distribution center, often the next day or sometimes the same day.
Local food is a $19 billion industry, according to marketing research firm Packaged Facts, the majority of which is generated by small farms and producers. Producers in the 2 to 20-acre range typically do not have access to grocery chains due to their size, but consumer demand for small, local producers is stronger than ever. According to the FMI 2022 Power of Produce Report, 56% of consumers want more local fruits and vegetables in their produce departments. This partnership makes it possible to help grocers create local and hyperlocal offerings that tailor local products to specific cities, even neighborhoods.
“This partnership is a significant move for iTradeNetwork to support hyperlocalization in the fresh supply chain,” said Amer Akhtar, CEO at iTradeNetwork. “With this exciting collaboration, our retail customers can meet consumer demand for local, more sustainable products, reduce shrink and food waste, and hedge against supply chain shortfalls. Providing value to our smaller suppliers is equally important to us. Our networks will enable them to expand their business with existing customers and build net new trading relationships with large retailers that they wouldn't otherwise have access to. This is incredibly powerful.”
“One key thing about this partnership is that it helps eliminate the silo between the DSD and warehouse functions inside grocery chains,” said Sam Eder, CEO of Big Wheelbarrow. “Those functions sometimes compete unintentionally because they often don’t know what the other is doing. Our platform handles local DSD inventory and purchase data in real time, with iTradeNetwork’s incredible suite of procurement solutions handling the important back end.”
For producers, access to nearby stores of grocery chains can be a significant step toward growing their perishable food business. “Big Wheelbarrow solves the challenges that smaller producers like me are facing when working with food retailers and help retailers efficiently meet the demand local food,” said Wendy Oakes Wilson, general manager of LynOaken Farms in New York.
iTradeNetwork, Inc. is the premier software provider for the industry’s largest network of 4,000+ food and beverage companies, building the smartest, freshest, most resilient supply chains of today and tomorrow. iTradeNetwork offers an expanded platform of solutions designed to improve efficiency and provide greater visibility across the supply chain for Procurement, Traceability, Analytics and foundational Data Services. For more information, visit: www.itradenetwork.com.
About Big Wheelbarrow
Big Wheelbarrow, Inc. is the leading provider of local food supply chains for grocery retailers. Big Wheelbarrow works with 300+ grocery stores, handling millions of dollars in local food transactions. It makes sustainability for locales and regions possible, thereby reducing food miles traveled. For more information, visit: www.bigwheelbarrow.com.