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15th eBusiness Integration meeting for the Agricultural Industry 

July, 2017We would like to invite you to our 15th Integration meeting in Berlin on 27th September 2017

Proagrica’s ADAPT plug-in 

November, 2016Proagrica have announced today that they have developed an ADAPT plug-in which enables traditionally disparate software systems to share data seamlessly.

Electronic ordering 

September, 2016Modern businesses supplying agriculture need the tools to make great decisions that directly improve their bottom line.


F4F and AgGateway in Europe ... 

May, 2014

For the past 3 years we have been working with and supporting the North American e-standards organisation, AgGateway. AgGateway is a non-profit consortium of businesses serving the agriculture industry, with the mission to promote, enable and expand eBusiness in agriculture. Their long-term vision is to become the recognized international source for enabling the use of information and communication technologies in agriculture. This fits precisely with the long term vision of F4F which is a platform for the exchange of that information.

Since its formation in the year 2000 F4F has been successful in promoting the adoption of eBusiness on four continents - Europe, Africa, Asia and North America. In so doing F4F has established itself as the premiere international, neutral platform for the exchange of information up and down the agricultural supply chain and we work with the majority of the leading businesses in the industry.

AgGateway has now taken the decision to take its first step outside of North America with the support of its 200+ members. Many of those members are international businesses and the benefits of business process standardisation are obvious. The first region chosen is Europe.

The founders meeting will be held in Paris on 19th June 2014 with agriculture-industry market and thought leaders from across Europe attending. We encourage you, or a representative of your company, to attend the meeting and to help shape the future of eBusiness in agriculture.

F4FAgriculture and Transwide launch European partnership 

March, 2012

Simplified, more efficient end-to-end e-logistics are set to benefit even more food/agri companies, following a partnership between F4FAgriculture and Transwide. The companies have entered into a best-of-breeds partnership to offer integrated e-logistics solutions to the European agri/food markets, helping to optimise logistical process efficiencies in order to maximise potential costs savings.

In light of escalating fuel and transport costs, having a highly efficient logistics model is essential for keeping operating costs down. Through deeper integration, the F4FAgriculture and Transwide partnership facilitates just this, as well as providing improved electronic document exchange abilities and greater visibility into the logistics chain, so problems can be identified and resolved before they escalate into expensive dilemmas.

Commenting on the partnership, Nick Evans, CEO of Adaptris said: “In a market which is becoming increasingly dependent on end to end supply-chain efficiency, many of our customers asked for a solution that would also effectively manage transport processes. After an extensive review of the market and available solutions, we felt that Transwide was the partner best-placed to meet their requests.” He continued: “Across the board, our customers are demanding the ability to communicate effectively with partners who belong to different networks; as a result of this partnership, F4FAgriculture and Transwide are leading the way in innovative enterprise application integration, through our open and collaborative philosophies.”

Addressing their clients’ demands, the partnership will provide businesses involved in the agri/food industries with a unique end-to-end solution, stretching from electronic order to cash, inventory control and product management through to logistics, transportation and CMR.

“Both organisations deliver superior collaborative platforms and have achieved a strong presence in the agri industry,” says Fabrice Maquignon, CEO of Transwide. “Our clients required us to join forces to deliver more integration, while adding the management of sophisticated transport processes. In F4FAgriculture we have found a partner that shares our values of delivering market-leading solutions that provide our customers with unrivalled return on investment. We are looking forward to a very successful collaboration.”

F4F B2B moves Into The Cloud 

January, 2012

F4F began the transition to a fully cloud based B2B platform, also known as Integration as a Service (IaaS), prior to 2009 to better serve the needs of a rapidly growing B2B community. In fact, F4F's B2B Connectivity platform has been largely cloud based for many years and with customers growing comfort and demand for fully cloud based services we have been able to expand and complete the solution. By the end of 2011 the majority of F4F's customers had been transitioned, largely or entirely, onto the cloud based IaaS platform.

Cloud based B2B, or IaaS, is a means of achieving trading partner integration and collaboration whereby little to no software, logic and other IT assets are installed and managed at the customers location. Rather, the customer need only link their IT system to the F4F B2B cloud and all logic, services, rules, mappings and trading partner specifics are managed by F4F 'In The Cloud'. The key benefits that F4F and it's customers sought to achieve were:

  • Ultra low support and operational management resource requirements
  • Simplicity of infrastructure, especially at the customer's location
  • Extremely high reliability and quality of service, with implicit support for high availability and DR
  • Rapid response to customers' needs to add trading partners, make changes or resolve issues

F4F continues to support businesses of all sizes in agribusiness and related industries, and cloud based B2B is no exception. Of particular note is our SimpleB2B offering, which brings cloud based B2B within reach for even the smallest of organisations.

RD1 Goes Live In New Zealand 

April, 2011

RD1 is New Zealand's largest rural supplies retailer servicing dairy farmers and a one-stop-shop for all farming and lifestyle solutions. So it's no coincidence that when F4F initially approached the New Zealand agriculture industry about electronic messaging, RD1 was amongst the first to put their hand up. After several initial meetings, a pilot project was under way and in April 2011, RD1 were live with two of their suppliers.

Being a new process for RD1 the project was not without its challenges - however F4F was there to support RD1 with their broad experience in integrating even the most complex systems. Now enjoying the efficiencies that are gained through electronic messaging, RD1 are seeking to further capitalise on their F4F investment by commencing F4F projects with their larger suppliers. Through F4F's close relationship with the global operations of many New Zealand companies, setting up initial commercial and technical meetings and getting projects under way was not a problem.

The benefits of electronic messaging have been tried and tested in many agricultural industries around the world. In the current marketplace, where an efficient supply chain is paramount, there is no place for unnecessary manual processing of orders, invoices and other documents. To remain competitive both in the domestic and global markets, electronic messaging is an essential consideration for New Zealand agribusiness and with RD1's bold first steps, this goal is closer than ever.

Agrinet prepare for Integration rollout 

Agrinet Limited based in Centurion South Africa is a supplier of industrial products, agricultural requisites and related products to retailers and industrial end-users in Sub-Saharan Africa. Agrinet's direct involvement with more than 500 agricultural retail outlets in South Africa, establishes the company as a leading supplier of irrigation products and general industrial requisites on a wholesale level in the region.

Agrinet, in conjunction with First4Farming South Africa, are currently rolling out an integrated solution to all of their suppliers. The process will cover orders, order responses, goods received vouchers, invoices and invoice status updates between Agrinet and their supplier base of approximately 400 suppliers.

In order to cater for the large scale and rapid rollout, a two pronged approach is being adopted whereby suppliers can either opt for a web trading portal or for direct integrated solutions for the various message types. This approach allows for a fast rollout to all suppliers and the achievement of Agrinets goals to trade electronically with all of their suppliers by October 2010.

A number of sites have been chosen for testing on both the web trading portal and the fully integrated solutions. Feedback and responses from all engaged have been very positive. Suppliers engaged to date have noted that the web trading portal dubbed web supplier 2 is an easy tool to use. With a previous version of web supplier deployed in South Africa web supplier 2 has been enhanced in order to cater for feedback received from the suppliers in making it more user friendly.

The process continues through August and September with national road shows with groups of suppliers in order to inform, educate and enable the suppliers to trade electronically with Agrinet.

Jaco Kriel (Financial Director at Agrinet) notes: The solution is moving along nicely with positive feedback received from the majority of suppliers. The integration project is just one of a number of initiatives that Agrinet has embarked on to streamline the business process and contain costs. Further items identified by the suppliers in the group sessions will be investigated and may be added to the solution going forward.

Helena Korb (Project Manager at Agrinet) states, The project and approach has allowed for a faster adoption of an integrated trading solution than was previously thought possible. Although much work still needs to be completed, we are excited and encouraged by the progress to date.

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