T-Systems, a digital services subsidiary of Deutsche Telekom and Mercabarna, Barcelona’s wholesale market, two leading European companies in the technology and fresh food sector, respectively, have joined forces, together with other partners, to create an app (https://t-mercabarnasolidaria.com) that will help entities and groups in need during the COVID-19 crisis. T-Systems provides the technology, while Mercabarna, and the companies within the market, supply fresh food and logistics and transport capacity.
A 24h hackathon
Among the initiatives already undertaken to help during the current health crisis, T-Systems and Mercabarna have organised a hackathon (meeting of programmers whose objective is the collaborative development of software) to develop a fully operational application that optimises the distribution of fresh food to needy groups.
During 24 hours of uninterrupted programming, a team of 20 T-Systems experts, with the collaboration of Mercabarna executives, created a solidarity marketplace that connects the surpluses from wholesale companies with the demand from social entities and the logistics company responsible for transporting food to the destination.
The project partners
The project is supported by two wholesale Mercabarna companies specialised in fruits and vegetables (Frutas Diego Martínez and Hermanos Fernández), as well as a logistics operator, also based in the wholesale market (TAE Transports).
The first social entity to benefit from this new application will be the Red Cross of Catalonia (which has 90 distribution points distributed throughout Catalonia), but it is planned to gradually incorporate new social entities into the project.
This innovative initiative adds to the work that Mercabarna’s wholesale companies have been carrying out on a regular basis, with their contribution of more than 100,000kg per month of fruit and vegetables through the Food Bank, which are distributed to 35,000 people in need.
The director general of Mercabarna, Josep Tejedo, said, “Mercabarna once again demonstrates its proactivity and solidarity to meet the needs of the most vulnerable during this health crisis and to continue to guarantee the supply of fresh food to the population at the same time.”
T-Systems has contributed its technological and innovative capacity. Osmar Polo, general director of T-Systems Iberia, said, “The current crisis of COVID-19 is making clear the importance of technology to provide collaborative solutions and, at T-Systems, we wanted to offer our knowledge and technological capacity to help improve as far as possible the difficult situation that vulnerable groups are experiencing. We are confident that we will get out of this crisis soon, and we believe that technology will help us to do so”.
Technology at the service of society
The application, developed in just 24 hours by the team of volunteer professionals at T-Systems, allows non-profit organisations to access a bank of food products available in Mercabarna and request a delivery based on a catalogue established by the wholesalers. In addition, it allows you to create profiles by type of company (wholesalers, carriers or associations), and includes statistics on orders and delivery times, as well as an order traceability system, with real-time tracking by state and location.