International airlines AirAsia has launched OURFARM, a new business-to-business (B2B) eCommerce platform that will enable over 1,000 government contract farmers and owners of private farms to connect directly to businesses and boost their income by eliminating middlemen costs.
The platform will provide logistical support, allowing farmers to fulfil orders directly to businesses, in line with the government’s National e-Commerce Roadmap agenda to future-proof existing businesses and to expand local market access. Separately, it will also provide benefits such as credit terms to support business buyers and the ability to prevent wastage as buyers can scale their purchase volume according to their actual needs through the website.
OURFARM leverages AirAsia's ecosystem, which includes cargo, logistics and payment capabilities along with its businesses and consumers database. With no onboarding cost, the platform offers farmers a chance to receive training on digitalising their business with e-commerce courses from RedBeat Academy. Datuk Kamarudin Meranun, executive chairman of AirAsia Group said the platform was a disruptor and would help many small businesses by reducing the cost of fresh produce procurement by up to 25% as businesses would be able to source directly from the agriculture producers.
“Importantly, OURFARM will help increase the profit margins of agriculture producers by eliminating middlemen costs. This platform provides a more efficient supply chain management system which supports the food security agenda of the nation,” Kamarudin added.
AirAsia also plans to expand this platform to support other parts of the ASEAN region in the long-term, being dubbed as the most productive agriculture basket in the world.
Ronald Kiandee, minister of Agriculture and Food Industries (MOA) said the ministry had been proactive in engaging industry players, especially in helping to match businesses to e-commerce platforms on both B2C and B2B fronts.
“This strategic partnership between MOA and OURFARM will create a new ecosystem that can help agribusiness expand and have a wider reach, while giving end-consumers better value for their money. We applaud the AirAsia Group for introducing a disruptor brand and platform like OURFARM and hope that it can contribute towards availability, accessibility, affordability and stability of the agro-food and agribusiness sector in Malaysia”, Kiandee added.
Radzi Tajuddin and Nadhir Ashafiq, co-founders of OURFARM said since the past 60 years, farmers, breeders and fishermen in general had a small pie in the food supply chain ecosystem. Furthermore, based on research made by the Malaysian Anti Competition Commission (MyCC), these food producers only earn approximately RM1.50-RM2.00 (about 0.4 USD) for every RM10.00 (about 2.4 USD) of product sold. They added that OURFARM had the three core success elements, technology, big data and logistics, and that they stood out by having a “network of 7,000 lorries and pickup trucks that can be mobilised in 60 minutes to perform pickup and delivery”, which ensures the freshness of the product while providing cost savings to farmers.
“We strongly believe with the advent of digital technology - OURFARM is able to improve their livelihood and income just like the producers in Japan and China,” Tajuddin and Ashafiq added.
Apart from OURFARM, AirAsia also recently launched an e-Commerce platform named OURSHOP, under a new initiative “Save Our Shops”, aiding local merchants by providing with free listing under the platform to tide through the pandemic. However, AirAsia has not been unaffected by the perils of COVID-19, as it recently laid off its employees due to uncertainty of continuing operations as usual.
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