Two entrepreneurial brothers from Northern Ireland have created a new online trading platform for the food and drink industry.
Itradein.com is the brainchild of Gerry and Adrian O’Reilly and has taken three years to develop. Based on a LinkedIn-style model, it allows buyers, suppliers and traders to set up company and personal profiles featuring detailed information on what they are looking to buy or sell.
Algorithms then connect users with appropriate buyers or sellers. There are also options for retailers to create a tender process and for users to seek partners for collaboration on NPD.
The brothers have first-hand experience of grocery, having started out in 1998 running a small manufacturer, which then became a brokerage of private label and branded goods for UK and Irish supermarkets.
Gerry O’Reilly said the inspiration for the site came from his days as a supplier and a desire to find better ways to connect with relevant retailers.
The project has backing from the Northern Irish government’s development agency InvestNI and has received interest from food and drink representatives from the Republic of Ireland and Scotland, who believe it could provide export opportunities for suppliers in their countries too.
“We initially thought it would focus primarily on suppliers targeting UK and Irish retailers,” said Gerry O’Reilly. “But we already have members from China, India, Mexico and South America, so it could really boost exports for SMEs in particular.”