FoA 405: From Fintech Startup to the Largest Produce Trader in the World With Pablo Borquez Schwarzbeck of ProducePay

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ProducePay: https://producepay.com/

Today's episode features ProducePay founder Pablo Borquez Schwarzbeck. Born and raised in a 4th generation farming family from Mexico, Pablo brings over 20 years of experience in the fresh produce industry. After growing up on the family farm – Campos Borquez, a premier supplier of fresh asparagus and grapes to the United States and Canada – Pablo went on to work for The Giumarra Companies, managing grower relations in Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, and the United States. Pablo returned to the family farm as Chief Financial Officer, then went on to complete his MBA at Cornell University, where the idea of ProducePay was started, founded and launched. 

Last year the company announced that longtime board member and advisor Patrick McCullough would take over as CEO, and Pablo moved at that time into the role of Executive Director of the board. But as you’ll hear in this interview he is just as energized as ever about their mission and their future. 

We talk about the challenges of the produce trade and why there is so much waste and so many intermediaries involved, why he thinks there in a position to create a better model, what role financial technology has in their ability to pull it off, how interest rates and investor sentiment impact companies like ProducePay, and how his transition has been from founder to CEO to board director. 

There’s a lot to this story but a good place to start is acknowledging that we all want quality produce to be at the store every time we show up, whether its in season locally or not. For that to happen, there’s a lot of people involved around the world, and a lot of waste along the way. ProducePay may have started as a way to better capitalize farmers, but now they have their focus on how they can help those farmers manage price risk. 

And the guy who started it all is today’s guest, Pablo Borquez. 

About the Podcast

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Future of Agriculture
Future of Agriculture Podcast

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About your host

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Tim Hammerich

I share stories about agriculture, agtech, and agribusiness on podcasts and radio.