As a fresh produce distributor, we operate in the last link of the cold supply chain right before produce reaches our customers. As such, we make every effort to be proactive in our purchases to ensure that produce is adequately treated before it reaches our hands. At Excellent Fruit & Produce, we developed the SMART Procurement system that has enabled us to be efficient in the cold supply chain in a way that guarantees maximum freshness to our customers. This purchasing system has five strategies:
1) Select our vendors well;
2) Monitor what we can control in the supply chain;
3) Adopt purchasing programs with the farms and packing houses;
4) Revise our customer’s needs to anticipate their demand; and
5) Treat the secondary market of Allapattah to our customer’s benefit.
To guarantee the best possible value on the greatest cross-section of products, we focus on preserving our great rating in the blue book so that we can choose from the best farms, packing houses, brokers and importers that serve the domestic US market. We constantly work on cultivating strong, long lasting relationships with our selected vendors looking for the best quality at the best possible price. In addition, we are actively designing purchasing programs with farms and packing houses. We believe working in partnership from the agricultural stage, enable us to monitor better the stages of the cold chain before produce arrive to our distribution center. Our pilot program is set to begin in the summer of 2016 with avocados from Mexico and it will be followed by other Mexican produce. Our distribution center is located in the proximity of the Allapattah Produce Market, the largest produce receiving and consolidating area in all of South Florida where 30+ merchants carry a large selection of fresh fruits, vegetables and herbs from every part of the globe. We believe that the SMART Procurement system improves our customers’ chances of having great produce even at times when the weather does not permit and improves their chances of having a 100 percent fulfillment rate in the first round of deliveries of the day.