Grab helps fruit farmers

Grab helps fruit farmers

40,000 orders expected by year-end

A GrabFood rider making deliveries during lockdown. Pattarapong Chatpattarasill
A GrabFood rider making deliveries during lockdown. Pattarapong Chatpattarasill

Grab Thailand, the local unit of the Singapore-based multipurpose app, has embarked on a new assistance campaign to help local farmers and food merchants overcome hardship in the wake of the pandemic.

The campaign is called Grab Loves Thais, said Chantsuda Thananitayaudom, country marketing head of Grab Thailand.

Kengkran Louvirojanakul, head of public affairs for Grab Thailand, said Grab has been collaborating with the Agriculture and Cooperatives Ministry to bring local fresh fruit to be sold on GrabMart's Farmers' Market feature. The move, which started this month, covers mango, durian, lychee, mangosteen and Gros Michel bananas.

There are two pick-up points for the fruit, with 10 planned for next month, he said.

Mr Kengkran did not disclose the commission fee, known as the gross profit fee, the platform collects from the fruit suppliers. Grab expects to have 40,000 orders for fresh fruit by year-end.

Alongkorn Ponlaboot, an adviser to the agriculture and cooperatives minister, said e-commerce generates 3 trillion baht for the economy, or 20% of the country's GDP.

"Enabling farmers to use digital platforms could ensure better product prices as farmers can reach customers directly," said Mr Alongkorn.

There are also plans for around 30,000 Blue Flag convenience stores, which sell low-priced consumer goods, to be brought on the platform, he said.

For food merchants, Grab rolled out its "Support Local Restaurant" campaign meant to boost sales by offering free ad space on the platform, said Ms Chantsuda. Some 500 small eateries could benefit from the campaign, which also includes 20 baht worth of free delivery. The 6-million-baht project runs until the end of July.

For Grab Loves Thais, people will be encouraged to order and send meals to children in need via GrabFood. The campaign, which starts next month, targets 50,000 meals worth about 1 million baht.

Rider partners will be handed 40,000 relief bags worth 8 million baht for their support.

"During the crisis, 35-40% of the Grab taxi drivers have been affected," said Ms Chantsuda.

Grab is facing hard times as well. Grab Holding stated it would cut 360 employees or 5% of the total to reduce expenses amid the economic downturn and pandemic.

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