The Index Project
Index Award 2015 Finalists
SokoText
An SMS service that helps local stores to buy in bulk, reducing costs and enabling communities to buy healthy food at much more affordable prices.

One of the leading contributors to malnutrition and obesity is the cost of healthy food, meaning food suppliers - small and large - often dictate what those at the Base of the Pyramid eat. In Colombia alone, there are 340,000 small suppliers that provide over 70% of the food consumed. Often due to small quantities and low capital, these suppliers are forced to travel to faraway locations to stock up at retail prices - meaning this high cost is also transferred onto consumers.

To help reduce costs for both vendors and buyers, SokoText uses mobile phones to aggregate demand via SMS or App and provide access to wholesale prices currently inaccessible to vendors. The system is very simple, food stalls in the same areas pre-order fresh produce using their mobile phones. The Soko software aggregates demand into a daily collective order and sources the produce in bulk directly from farmers -  who offer cheaper prices. Food stalls then receive the orders at their doorstep.

Those who use SokoText save the time and money spent travelling to markets and access high quality produce at cheaper prices, all thanks to the simple technology already in their hands. The system is currently in place in Colombia and Kenya, and is not only improving the businesses and lives of food vendors, but is also ensuring that poorer communities have better access to healthy produce.

DESIGNED BY: VERENA LIEDGENS
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: GERMANY
REGIONS OF USE: AFRICA, SOUTH AMERICA