13 October 1999
E-commerce set for take-off

ELECTRONIC commerce over the Internet for farming products is getting ready for take-off, according to the Financial Times.

It reports that systems for online trading of agricultural products and livestock have begun springing up over the past couple of years.

One system it looks at in detail is Iowa-based e-Markets (www.e-markets.com/), which offers a “net contract” allowing producers to issue farmers with specialised contracts.

The same company has recently brought in a bid automation system that encompasses most grains.

This allows elevators and processors to post their requirements electronically.

Business is reported as expanding at 60% a year.

In the UK, the newspaper looks at Comdaq-Net which is planning to create an online exchange, under one “cyber roof”.

The exchange started trading raw and white sugar and now plans to add coffee to its product list.