Online platform works to improve farmers’ profits and roaster value
Global company Typica entered the market with the aim of improving the transparency of the coffee supply chain.
Prior to its launch, the green coffee trade was only available in very large quantities via shipping containers.
“The minimum weight of the container is 18 tonnes”, explained Ayane Yamada, co-founder of Typica. “The rest has to be shipped by air, so the freight rate cannot be matched by one company. ” This means that ultimately the shipping costs become higher than the cost of the grain.
The Typica online platform aims to disrupt the distribution of green coffee by enabling a significantly lower minimum commercial quantity of a single 60kg jute sack via direct trade.
“We are able to reduce sales [minimum] because we accept online pre-orders ”, Yamada told this publication.
Increase transparency for producers
Worldwide, around two billion cups of coffee are consumed every day. This makes coffee the second most traded international product after oil.
However, the coffee industry faces a number of challenges. Besides deforestation and climate change, price fluctuations endanger the livelihoods of coffee farmers. In addition, a lack of transparency allows unethical practices to go unnoticed.
The Typica system allows small coffee producers, especially family farms, to participate in direct trade. Thus, these producers can set their own prices without being affected by the volatile fluctuations of the international market.
To increase transparency, Typica provides supply chain and price breakdowns for all lots distributed. It also helps producers and roasters to create a “face to face relationship”, with the idea of fostering “mutual understanding” and “improving communication”.
The modes of communication between the producer and the roaster vary, we have been told. A bulletin board on the online platform allows some communications, while others communicate directly through social media services.
“In a world where more than 3.5 billion people are connected to the Internet, coffee producers have more and more opportunities to distribute as direct trade. explained co-founder Masashi Goto. “Providing infrastructure to over 20 million coffee farmers (around 100 million, including their families), can change their way of life and their lives.
“I believe that by increasing the green coffee that is directly marketed, we can simultaneously improve the quality of life for producers, roasters and consumers, as well as increase the sustainability of our world.”
To date, growers have sold their coffee through Typica at a price three to 30 times higher than the international market.
Direct trading for coffee roasters
The ability to negotiate directly is also a boon for roasters. Conventional direct trade, which, as Yamada explained, uses an 18-ton trading unit, makes direct trade “extremely difficult” even for large-scale roasters.
According to Typica, direct trading was also a challenge for small and medium-sized roasters due to the amount of trading and high financial costs. “In many cases, there were no other options than to depend on trading companies for all aspects of the trade – from inventory checks to purchasing,” the company noted.
By negotiating directly, coffee can bypass these trading companies. However, Yamada stressed that the Typica concept is “not about cutting out the middleman”.
“This is about ensuring transparency so that we can help resolve producer exploitation and ambiguous purchasing processes by roasters.”
In its first year since launch, Typica has expanded its network to over 2,000 growers and roasters from 12 countries.
In Japan, where it launched in April this year, more than 800 roasters have signed up to the platform. “One of the 5 largest Japanese trading companies also buys from Typica”, Goto said.
By October, Typica will have been used to distribute in 38 countries, including the Netherlands, UK, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Denmark, Norway, South Korea and Taiwan. The platform is also now available for roasters in the UK.
By 2025, the platform aims to have integrated more than 5,000 producers in 70 countries around the world.
“Our goal is to empower individuals in the coffee industry, increase the sustainability of producing high-quality coffee, and dramatically improve the experience for coffee lovers by rejuvenating the global community of coffee growers and roasters. Coffee. “the firm noted.