A former produce buyer has developed an online service designed to make the selling and buying process less complicated.

New website designed to ease produce purchasing

David Castillo launched FreshProduceLocator.com on Aug. 9.

The site allows buyers to purchase the commodities they need via item, size, packaging, growing location and best available price.

Castillo, president of San Jose-Calif.-based Castle Enterprises, which does business as FreshProduceLocator.com, is a former buyer for Mineral King Produce LLC, Visalia, Calif., Council Foods, Lindsey, Calif., and Richpeel Garlic Co., Hanford, Calif.

“There is nothing more grueling than going through 30-40-60-100 price sheets a day on each individual item to source products from the best areas for the best price,” he said. “As I’ve always been into simplifying processes, I sat down one day and thought there must be an easier way for someone to go ahead and source this product out. I have always felt there should be a go-to site to find these things versus sorting through all the price sheets on my desk.”

The site allows sellers, which include grower-shippers, brokers and distributors, to securely post their price sheets that are viewable only by buyers.

Sellers can also post organic and overstocked items.

Buyers can customize the commodities they regularly purchase which are shown through information such as carton size, seller sales and cooler contact information.

A search engine automatically organizes the commodities by price, Castillo said.

A services section advertises allied industry company products and services.

The site has collaborated with Red Book Credit Services, Lenexa, Kan., a division of Vance Publishing, which owns The Packer.

“Coupling our industry leading credit information in a real-time and highly integrated way just makes sense,” said AnnMarie Wills, Red Book Credit Services’ general manager. “Red Book Credit Services is committed to providing this industry with critical credit-decisioning data in easy to use and highly actionable ways.”

Buyers who have not established credit ratings wishing to access the site can clink on a link that goes to Red Book Credit Services to obtain membership.

Castillo said he has signed up several grower-shippers, including Simonian Fruit Co., Fowler, Calif., George Amaral Ranches Inc., Salinas, Calif., and King Fresh Produce LLC, Dinuba, Calif.

Buyers can access the site for free, he said.