The Malaysian company that helps you cut out the middleman by bringing the Pasar to you.
Your weekly shopping at the supermarket seems like the most logical option when it comes to groceries. Is it though?
PasarTap doesn’t think so.
Think about it.
The pack of Australian carrots you just picked up off the shelf may have travelled over 4000km from a farm in Western Australia to your shopping trolley in Petaling Jaya.
A large number of fruits, vegetables and meats are imported – your shopping bag has a carbon footprint.
There’s fighting for parking spots, slogging through traffic, standing in queues, struggling with shopping bags…
All that time from farm to shelf also means freshness is lost – fruits and vegetables begin to lose moisture, undergo nutrient degradation, and have an increased likelihood of microbial spoilage the minute they are separated from their source at the root or vine.
And then there’s cost for the customer.
All that handling as produce gets harvested, packed up and moved from farm to wholesaler, and then on to a distribution centre before finally arriving at the supermarket – adds more layers of costs for the consumer.
In other words, the more steps there are in your supply chain – the less fresh and more expensive your product will be.
Pasar, Heart of the Community
So what would you do if you didn’t shop at a super market?
For hundreds of years the local markets – or the Pasar – catered to those needs.
They still do in fact, we just don’t see them that often, because rapid urbanisation has set up a barrage of inconveniences.
Most urban folk don’t know where their local market or pasar is. And in all likelihood even if they did, getting there would be a great inconvenience.
Mazes of commercial buildings, housing areas, and roads demand space. Pasars tend not to be easy to get to and don’t offer the clean, neat, and tidy shopping experience supermarkets do.
But there are distinct advantages to the Pasar. For one thing, goods arrive fresh from local farms daily and are sold at market prices.
Buying from the pasar means less steps in the supply chain, a smaller carbon footprint, and support for a more vibrant local economy.
And by supporting local farmers and stall vendors, we also generate market demand for our local agricultural industry, increasing national food security and sovereignty.
Back to basics for a 21st Century Problem
For a time, urbanisation and globalisation disconnected us from our local farms. Thankfully, technology has caught up.
With smart phone ownership and internet-connected households at an all-time high in Malaysia, there’s no reason why we can’t reconnect.
This is where PasarTap comes in.
Their philosophy is farm fresh produce delivered straight from the Pasar, right to your doorstep in under two hours, at the click of the button.
The guys behind PasarTap realised that although online grocery delivery services do exist, they simply deliver what’s already in the supermarket to customers.
However they wanted a service that would actually reconnect urban folk to the Pasar: to create not just a business that would benefit people who want to cook fresh but smallholders, farmers, and vendors too.
Their business model is smart. They leverage on a team of trained buyers who have built up a network of relationships with local market suppliers to source the best produce, at the best prices for their consumers.
They use a hybrid model, employing a team of permanent and on-demand riders to get those orders straight to the customers’ door as fast as possible (few delivery services offer same-day, let alone two-hour delivery times).
So if you decide you want Nasi Ulam for dinner, for example, all you need to do is go onto their website at lunch, order a bunch of local vegetables and spices, and then cook up a storm that same evening.
Pocket, Planet, and Community
Going hyperlocal has its benefits.
Less steps in the supply chain generally mean better prices, which is good for your pocket; better nutrition, which is good for your health; and a smaller carbon footprint, which is good for the planet.
Eating locally farmed produce also creates a bigger and more reliable market for the local farming community.
Nobody really talks about this point but by encouraging local farmers to produce more, we increase national food security.
It’s a 21st century phenomenon that cheap air freight has led to an expensive, fuel-guzzling global supply chain steeped in hidden costs such as air and water pollution from mass transporting goods.
Not only do the environmental economics not add up, neither do the socio-economics. Right now much of the world has become dependent on a system where crop failures or logistical bottlenecks on one continent can cripple supply or drastically increase prices in another.
The thing is, most people want to live a sustainable lifestyle, they just don’t know how.
Yet there’s plenty to suggest that consumers are becoming more ethically aware today.
When faced with price-friendly options, many will support businesses that operate on sustainable business models.
For centuries, people lived sustainably and traditionally, not intentionally, but just because it was simple.
Today, skewered incentives systems such as the national farming subsidies in many countries coupled with cheap fuel and globalisation have made food supply chains more complicated and opaque than ever.
But if globalisation and the digital revolution have made life more complicated, it can also make it better.
PasarTap want to bring simple back: fresh, convenient, and fairly priced goods for all Malaysians (and Indonesia – where they hope to expand to next) through smart digital solutions.