ABU DHABI: Agthia Group PJSC, one of the Middle East’s leading food and beverage companies, has launched its first-of-a-kind e-commerce marketplace eZad, www.ezad.ae. The B2B platform is the world’s first virtual platform dedicated to trading in dates. This alternative sales channel is the result of a fruitful cooperation between Agthia subsidiary Al Foah and the Abu Dhabi Agriculture and Food Safety Authority (ADAFSA), which makes it a transparent, trusted, and credible platform.

The online auction platform was created to connect wholesale date buyers around the world with sellers in the UAE, KSA, and Jordan. eZad guarantees that it will give the opportunity for their produce to reach regional and international markets. It is a comprehensive online marketplace that provides full services, allowing for the completion of selling,purchasing and processing operations with transparency and ensuring the highest and fairest profit.

During eZad’s soft launch, the platform attracted 1,200 buyers and was able to sell 120 tons of dates. Since the announcement of the cooperation with ADAFSA, eZad has seen a dramatic increase in interest from buyers and sellers, bringing the number of registered sellers to 2,400.

Among the benefits that the platform provides to buyers is an internationally accredited certificate for the quality of dates, according to unified scientific standards, without the need for inspection and travel, and with additional after-sale services.

Mubarak Ali Al Qusaili Al Mansoori, Executive Director of the Agricultural Affairs Sector at ADAFSA, said: "We are happy with the launch of the eZad platform," which he described as an innovative e-marketing channel that gives farmers and date producers an opportunity to buy and sell dates wholesale. He explained that opening unconventional marketing channels will enhance the competitiveness of UAE dates locally and globally, which can transform date farming into a strategic economic activity that supports sustainable agricultural development.

Al Mansoori pointed out that the authority attaches special importance to palm trees and date production given their historical value, and as a key driver of the nation’s food security system.

Mubarak Huthaili Al Mansoori, Chief Corporate Services Officer of Agthia Group, said: "We are proud to launch eZad, a unique and innovative platform that brings together date buyers and sellers from around the world. It is the easiest and most efficient way to trade in dates electronically, allowing date sellers to reach a global market and giving buyers around the world the chance to purchase the best dates on the market."

He added that this season, there will be the addition of physical auctions on the ground in four locations at Al Foah receiving centers. This enables farmers to offer their dates for sale locally and internationally through the eZad platform.

Regarding registration on the eZad platform, Al Mansoori said that it is possible to register online from all over the world by filling out an electronic form and uploading the required documents. He said that dates on eZad are sold through online auctions that last six hours, between 12pm and 6pm UAE time.

Buyers must fund their wallets ahead of auctions. Sellers will be able to list a minimum starting price. The highest bidder will win the auction, and 20% of the value of the winning bid will be debited at the time. The buyer will have five days to pay the remaining amount.

The platform’s checkout process allows buyers to select additional services and their preferred shipping option. eZad offers comprehensive services including fumigation, washing, storage, packaging, and delivery at an additional cost.