Green Box

Safeguarding from field to fork

It is a cost effective solution for middlemen in developing countries that protects produce from damage and wastage during transportation.

Use Case

Due to multiple middlemen, the transportation time is quite long. The lack of refrigeration options in developing nations leads to over heating, which catalyzes microbial attack and ethylene production. Compounded with unplanned loading, middlemen have to incur substantial loss due to damage, wastage, and over-ripening. To tackle this, they are forced to inject formalin, since refrigeration is too expensive, degrading the nutrition of fruits and vegetables. The formalin-free produces that reach the open market vendors are almost at the end of their shelf lives, and are soon wasted. So these produces have to be sold off at loss-making prices. While middlemen and retailers recognize these problems, they lack cost effective solutions in the current scenario, which makes Green Box a necessity.

Potential

The bamboo body limits produce within its yield point, preventing physical damage. The space efficient design and unique stacking mechanism make loading convenient. The solar powered filtration unit protects produce from microbial attack and over-ripening owing to ethylene release.The entire system increases shelf life in the process. Middlemen, who are currently demonized for contaminating produce, are empowered with this cost-effective alternative. Open market vendors and middlemen combined can reduce wastage up to 80%, which saves them a lot of money. End users benefit from receiving uncompromising nutrition. Since most developing countries in Asia and Africa suffer from similar problems, the project is geographically expandable.

Business Case

We are a benefit corporation. The target market of Green Box are middlemen and open market vendors. The main source of revenue is from selling Green Box and filtration unit. The primary communication channel is through Fruit Republic Agent’s and also tapping into the established NGO and Government linkage in rural areas. Primary cost is the manufacturing cost of Green Box. Customer relationships will be maintained through agent points and feedback session with the customers. Each unit of green box will cost $15. The filtration unit requires replenishing and this will cost $3. Given that the initial cost for purchasing Green box is quite low, middlemen and open market vendors are likely to use it. Customers can have an ROI of 25-30%. Our profit margin is 20%, production cost being $12.5

Objectives:

  1. Middlemen are demonized for being forced to use formalin to preserve produce. We empower them by offering a cost effective alternative.
  2. Reduce loss of produce during transportation as an effective and sustainable solution to hunger and food insecurity.
  3. Ensure fruits and vegetables deliver desired nutritional values to the end user.

Team Fruit Republic

Dhaka, Bangladesh

Our Team

Our Business Plan / Published January 10, 2016 by Md. Ehsanul Islam

Our Business Plan

This is the business model canvas of Green Box, explaining our business plan in brief.

The Reason Behind Choosing Bamboo As Box Material / Published January 10, 2016 by Md. Ehsanul Islam

The Reason Behind Choosing Bamboo As Box Material

We took many other materials into consideration while thinking about the material for the box. Eventually, we decided to go with bamboo. Green Box had to be the best possible cost-effective solution for transporting produce. So, we were looking for a material that would be greatly available and cheap, yet highly durable. Since, our product will be primarily used for transportation, we needed a light-weight material. But the most important factor that we looked into was the thermal conductivity of the material. Because if the material's thermal conductivity is high, produces would be heated up much earlier than expected, which increases the chances of wastage.

Some of the materials we looked into were wood, aluminium, hard paper pipes and many more. All the materials failed to meet the perfect balance of the above mentioned criteria except for bamboo. Bamboo is extremely cheap, highly available and durable. A 12-feet bamboo costs only 40 taka or $0.51, as found from our market visit for the materials. The best thing about bamboo is that it has an extremely low thermal conductivity. As the temperature of the produce would depend on the temperature of the box, a material with lower thermal conductivity was necessary. The strongest competitor of bamboo in choosing the material was plastic. Plastic beats bamboo considering the 'light-weight criterion'. However, plastic has a higher thermal conductivity than bamboo and it is brittle and susceptible to breaking, hence, less durable. It is also not environmentally friendly when it comes to disposing them. Hence, we chose bamboo as the material of the box.

Previous Version of the Prototype / Published January 7, 2016 by Md. Ehsanul Islam

Previous Version of the Prototype

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tU-mzkBQ4VI

Now that we have conducted live testing with our v.2 of the prototype, we realized that we haven't shared anything about our prototype v.1. Here's how we made it in the first place.

Live Testing / Published January 7, 2016 by Md. Ehsanul Islam

Live Testing

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OLB5dzIBTZA

Team Fruit Republic recently conducted their live testing of 'Green Box' with the v.2 of its cardboard prototype. Although our primary customers are the middlemen, who transport the produce from farmers to the retailers, but we conducted our live testing with our secondary target group, the open market vendors. Due to the constraint in time and resources, we could not conduct the live testing with the middleman. We went to different open market vendors and conducted our live testing with them. We would like to thank all of them for helping us out.

When we made them understand about its functionality, and asked them would it be useful for them, all of them said yes. So, we decided to give each and every one of them a badge of Green Box, which signifies their need for the product. Fruit Republic aims to spread these badges to all those people who are in real need of 'Green Box'. This hopefully is just the beginning of something big.

Shocking! / Published January 6, 2016 by Md. Ehsanul Islam

Shocking!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cUNhRTpGrBA

Fruit Republic went for a market research in Badamtoli, a wholesale market in Dhaka, beside the river Buriganga. This is one of the places in the city where the middlemen deliver their produce to the wholesalers and the retailers. We knew that wastage during transportation is very common in our country. But, we did not have the idea that the actual scenario is this worse. You wouldn't believe until you see it by your own eyes. We are shocked.

But let's look at the bright side. This actually made us even more determined to pursue our project named 'Green Box'.

Follow the link and watch the video to see a little bit of what happens in Badamtoli. Just a word of caution: some scenes might disgust you.

Our Mission

There was a time when fresh produce were exactly what they were supposed to be: FRESH. Vegetables and fruits are essential to the growth and development of a person. However, the insatiable hunger for greed resulted in compromise of the most basic of necessities in a balanced diet. Fruits and vegetables are not fresh anymore, they have been contaminated to the core. It seems that in the battle of nutrition vs greed; greed is winning. But not anymore, it's time for fruits and vegetables to make a comeback. Fruit republic aims to unite the people of the earth on championing the organic and healthy attributes of fruits and vegetables. It is colorful, it is tasty and above all , it brings out the joy in people!

Our Background

From engineers to Marketeers, we are a diverse team of aspiring entrepreneurs who are specializing in various fields of studies. Ehsan is the marketing guy, Taosif is the Numbers guy, Ahraf is the writer, Prio is the engineer and Kabir is the architect. We believe that the world would be a far, far better place if everyone stopped forfeiting responsibility to the next person in order to solve the food problem that is staring us right at the face. Ensuring your own personal food security should be the first step in a longer, communal process through which you empower and educate and contribute to the sustainable development of your community. The members of Fruit Republic, we firmly believe that by starting small, you can achieve big things.

Our Business Plan / Published January 10, 2016 by Md. Ehsanul Islam

Our Business Plan

This is the business model canvas of Green Box, explaining our business plan in brief.

The Reason Behind Choosing Bamboo As Box Material / Published January 10, 2016 by Md. Ehsanul Islam

The Reason Behind Choosing Bamboo As Box Material

We took many other materials into consideration while thinking about the material for the box. Eventually, we decided to go with bamboo. Green Box had to be the best possible cost-effective solution for transporting produce. So, we were looking for a material that would be greatly available and cheap, yet highly durable. Since, our product will be primarily used for transportation, we needed a light-weight material. But the most important factor that we looked into was the thermal conductivity of the material. Because if the material's thermal conductivity is high, produces would be heated up much earlier than expected, which increases the chances of wastage.

Some of the materials we looked into were wood, aluminium, hard paper pipes and many more. All the materials failed to meet the perfect balance of the above mentioned criteria except for bamboo. Bamboo is extremely cheap, highly available and durable. A 12-feet bamboo costs only 40 taka or $0.51, as found from our market visit for the materials. The best thing about bamboo is that it has an extremely low thermal conductivity. As the temperature of the produce would depend on the temperature of the box, a material with lower thermal conductivity was necessary. The strongest competitor of bamboo in choosing the material was plastic. Plastic beats bamboo considering the 'light-weight criterion'. However, plastic has a higher thermal conductivity than bamboo and it is brittle and susceptible to breaking, hence, less durable. It is also not environmentally friendly when it comes to disposing them. Hence, we chose bamboo as the material of the box.

Previous Version of the Prototype / Published January 7, 2016 by Md. Ehsanul Islam

Previous Version of the Prototype

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tU-mzkBQ4VI

Now that we have conducted live testing with our v.2 of the prototype, we realized that we haven't shared anything about our prototype v.1. Here's how we made it in the first place.

Live Testing / Published January 7, 2016 by Md. Ehsanul Islam

Live Testing

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OLB5dzIBTZA

Team Fruit Republic recently conducted their live testing of 'Green Box' with the v.2 of its cardboard prototype. Although our primary customers are the middlemen, who transport the produce from farmers to the retailers, but we conducted our live testing with our secondary target group, the open market vendors. Due to the constraint in time and resources, we could not conduct the live testing with the middleman. We went to different open market vendors and conducted our live testing with them. We would like to thank all of them for helping us out.

When we made them understand about its functionality, and asked them would it be useful for them, all of them said yes. So, we decided to give each and every one of them a badge of Green Box, which signifies their need for the product. Fruit Republic aims to spread these badges to all those people who are in real need of 'Green Box'. This hopefully is just the beginning of something big.

Shocking! / Published January 6, 2016 by Md. Ehsanul Islam

Shocking!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cUNhRTpGrBA

Fruit Republic went for a market research in Badamtoli, a wholesale market in Dhaka, beside the river Buriganga. This is one of the places in the city where the middlemen deliver their produce to the wholesalers and the retailers. We knew that wastage during transportation is very common in our country. But, we did not have the idea that the actual scenario is this worse. You wouldn't believe until you see it by your own eyes. We are shocked.

But let's look at the bright side. This actually made us even more determined to pursue our project named 'Green Box'.

Follow the link and watch the video to see a little bit of what happens in Badamtoli. Just a word of caution: some scenes might disgust you.

Our Team

Our Mission

There was a time when fresh produce were exactly what they were supposed to be: FRESH. Vegetables and fruits are essential to the growth and development of a ...Read More

Our Background

From engineers to Marketeers, we are a diverse team of aspiring entrepreneurs who are specializing in various fields of studies. Ehsan is the marketing guy, Taosif is the ...Read More

The information contained here represents student project ideas developed as the result of brainstorming activities during Round 1 of the TFF Challenge. It does not represent any final business plans or commercial products.