The harvest in the coffee growing regions in the South of Ethiopia has just started. For coffee trader Trabocca it’s this time of the year that its staff is impatiently waiting to learn all about the quality and flavour of the fresh coffee harvest. Despite Trabocca’s experience in the region of more than a decade, this year’s harvest isn’t exactly business as usual; the company is teaming up with Fairfood to make their coffee supply chain transparent. Commercial Director Sander Reuderink explains why.
A batch of approximately 40.000 kilogram of coffee from the Guji region will be blockchained with use of Fairfood’s soon to be launched platform Trace. What’s your motive for that?
“We want to provide irrefutable proof that our farmers were paid what we promise. We will use blockchain to create price transparency all the way up to farm gate. To help our customers make sense of the numbers, we will present them in the context of Trabocca’s contribution to a living income, which is the amount of money the farmers require for a decent standard of living in their region.”
What is Trabocca’s purpose behind this initiative?
“At Trabocca, we’ve always focused on quality and paid our producers a premium for high quality coffee. We brought the first organic and Fairtrade certifiers to Ethiopia. But was that enough? Are producers of high-quality coffee able to earn a living income for their family? A coffee farmer’s income is a function of the price they receive per kilogram, multiplied by their production volume and minus their cost of production. What if we turn that formula around, and use a living income for the farmer as the starting point of the price calculation? As a trial, we selected a group of farmers and used that exact approach to determine the price we pay for their coffee.”