KENYA – Kenyan-based technology food distribution platform, Twiga Foods, has partnered with Google to address wastage of perishable goods during the distribution process.

Under the partnership, the B2B food distributor will incorporate Google Clouds’ systems into its platform, enabling an efficient food value chain between farmers and vendors aimed to bring high quality, locally harvested fresh produce to people every day—increasing accessibility to food items in Kenya.

To achieve this, the two firms will deploy Big Query and Data Studio to analyse historical data of product purchases and quantities.

This will allow for more accurate ordering of food items, which will lead to the reduction of waste of perishable goods during the distribution process.

“The work we are doing with Twiga Foods is not just about an e-commerce platform choosing a cloud provider to run its systems and store data,”

“It also is about showing how technology and the power of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning can help a nation address sustainability challenges head on such as waste reduction and food security,” Google Cloud Africa Director Niral Patel said.

Twiga Foods established its first IT infrastructure with Google Cloud in 2015, when its customer base grew exponentially and the need to scale operations digitally became more critical.

The organization first began to store all of its business and operational data securely on Google Cloud using the Big Query data warehousing product.

This, in turn, led to the transformation from a manually driven company to a technology-enabled business that relies on artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) tools—applied on top of the data warehouse—to make smart business decisions in real time.

Google clouds eases ordering, distribution, financing operations

Today, there are approximately 1,000 farmers in Kenya who benefit from Twiga’s dynamic pricing capability, ensuring they are paid fairly for their products.

The capability is powered by Big Query and Data Studio, Google Cloud’s data analytics solutions, and factors in local dynamics that impact pricing. This functionality enables Twiga to make the correct decision on the price it gives to each of its customers.

The digital transformation of Twiga Foods on Google Cloud also empowers the 140,000 vendors who rely on the company to receive fresh produce for their shops every day.

Vendors can also purchase products on credit based on their credit score. Twiga relies on the analysis of vendor data on Big Query, which leverages insights such as vendor metrics and modes-of-ordering to create a credit score for each customer.

With the help of Google Cloud technologies, Twiga Foods also introduced waste minimization efforts in its value chain for perishable goods.

Through analyzing historical data of product purchases and quantities on Big Query and Data Studio, Twiga Foods determines the types and quantities of produce that need to be purchased for each day of the week based on demand, and creates a weekly plan accordingly.

The ability to plan one week in advance ensures that products are not wasted due to ripening and during distribution.

Also, it enables optimization of space at its 20,000-square-meter warehouse that manages an average of 2,000 tons of produce daily.

Caine Wanjau, Chief Technology Officer, Twiga Foods said, ” Shop owners can now dedicate their time to growing their business and spending time with their families, rather than spend hours every day procuring and stocking up products. Farmers get a fair chance at earning decent incomes and being paid adequately for their products.

“This is all being enabled by bringing in technology to help us look at our business and customers in a profound manner, relying on data in real-time to make the best and smartest decisions for our people and the country.”

The team at Twiga Foods was also able to reduce 40% of the cost of deliveries with the help of Google Cloud’s route optimization tools.

The company’s fleet routing algorithm for deliveries is built on Google Cloud and provides dynamic routing capabilities that schedule an average of 12,000 deliveries based on prioritization and proximity daily.

This has also meant that all vendors across 12 cities in Kenya receive their orders before 1 p.m. every day. 

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