PickTrace (YC S15) Helps Farms Pay Their Workers Accurately And Fairly

by Alexis Ohanian7/22/2015

The fruits and vegetables that you find in your grocery store’s produce section are typically hand-picked by millions of field workers around the world. It’s a huge industry with a huge workforce, but the systems farms use to manage and track their workers are often woefully low-tech and error-prone.

PickTrace is a startup launching out of our current class that has created a hardware and software system that brings real-time analytics to farms, enabling them to track, manage and pay their workers fairly and accurately.

TechCrunch’s Christine Magee interviewed Picktrace’s co-founders Austin and Harrison Steed in a post published today:

“Generally farm employees are paid by the bucket, either at flat fee
or by weight, to incentivize good performance, according to Austin.

‘At the end of the day, the farm has to go back through and add up
numbers for each employee, and calculate minimum wage based off of piece
rates,’ Austin says. ‘Basically during harvest season you’re constantly
doing payroll.’

With PickTrace, each picker in the field is provided with a barcoded
ID badge so they can check in when they start. When they finish picking,
they weigh their yield at a Bluetooth-connected scale, which
automatically captures the weight, location, employee and how long it

Read much more about PickTrace in TechCrunch here, and participate in the Hacker News discussion here.


  • Alexis Ohanian