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Crowdfarming: Naranjas del Carmen

Friday, 9 March, 2018

The next agricultural revolution will connect people with food and farmers will grow only what’s going to be consumed. Says who? Say the brothers Gonzalo and Gabriel Úrculo of Bétera, a village in Valencia. They founded Naranjas del Carmen in 2010 as an online business focused on the direct sale of citrus fruits, but disruptive times require flexible business models and now, instead of selling oranges, they sell orange trees. And people from all over Europe are trekking to Bétera to see their threes and collect the fruit of those trees. This means a boost for regional tourism as well.

Gonzalo and Gabriel came up with the idea after inheriting a disused orchard from their grandfather that was set be sold. Today, they have some 11,000 orange trees in the orchard, and more than 5,000 would-be-owners on a waiting list. Naranjas del Carmen sells 50,000 kilograms of oranges a week, shipping to owners throughout Europe. Annual sales have climbed from an initial €25,000 to €2.5 million.

Business model: Each tree is planted specifically for customers, who have the right to receive its produce whenever they want. In return, the customer pays an annual upkeep fee for up to 25 years. What happens before the purchased tree begins to produce fruit? The company offers the customer oranges from a fully grown tree that doesn’t yet have an owner. Muy inteligente.

Naranjas del Carmen

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