A Chat with Michael Chrisment, CEO at End-to-End Traceability Solution: Farmer Connect

farmer connect® allows businesses and consumers to trace the entire journey of coffee and cocoa, right from bean to bag. By simply scanning a QR code on one of our brand’s product, the platform enables consumers to track the journey right back to the origin.

This is all made possible with our three main products built on emerging technologies; FarmerID, The Connect Hub, and the Thank My Farmer™ app:

  • FarmerID – based on Self-Sovereign Identity, allows farmers to digitally connect to the agriculture supply chain, empowering them with their own digital identity so that they own and get value from their data, such as supporting their access to financing and investment, which then in-turn helps improve living conditions.
  • Connect Hub – built around a blockchain core powered by IBM, ensures the traceability, safe storage and validation by trusted parties involved in the data traveling through the supply chain.
  • Thank My Farmer™ – a web-based app that allows consumers to trace the origins and quality of a product and learn about origin communities and sustainability programmes. Through a secure tech environment, consumers can donate towards programs that support the sustainability and local prosperity of origin farms.

Farmer Connect® simply combines technology, transparency, and sustainability, and acts as a model example of the future of procurement being green.  We help small holder farmers digitally connect to the agriculture supply chain, and our blockchain technology ensures traceability and data validation by all parties. The Thank My Farmer™ web-based app then allows consumers to trace the origins and quality of the commodity and even financially support local farmers and communities.
 
 
farmer connect lands $9 mil Series A funding to fuel sustainability
 

How did the idea for farmer connect come about?

 
Farmer connect® was originally founded by Sucafina, a leading coffee trader, who saw the need for increased end-to-end traceability.  The issues of whether there will be a secure supply of coffee to meet consumer demand in the future are well documented and understood across the industry, and a number of players already have their own in-house traceability solutions.

But Sucafina understood that without a neutral, independent platform that digitized data across different players, the industry would never get to the insights that inspire greater efficiency and value, and that there was less chance of incremental value passing to farmers.  This is why they founded farmer connect® as a separate, independent company and brought in investment from other players in the industry.
 

 

How has the company evolved during the pandemic?

 
We were lucky enough to see significant growth in 2020. A surge in revenue and a rapidly growing roster of clients and industry partnerships has meant we have evolved a lot quicker than we ever anticipated.

We now have partnerships in place with some of the world’s most innovative and ethical coffee and chocolate brands, including Cooxupé, the world’s biggest coffee cooperative in Brazil, UCC Coffee, Treegether, Beyers Koffie, and The J.M. Smucker Company.  In March 2021, farmer connect® closed a $9 million Series A funding round, which has helped it grow the team and accelerate even further.
 

What can we hope to see from farmer connect in the future?

 
Just because we have had an incredible year does not mean that we’ll be slowing down any time soon. We are part of something much bigger than us, and we are dedicated to transforming a supply chain that has needed digitisation for decades.

We will continue supporting retailers to make the right buying choices, and signing on more influential brands to further challenge and transform the industry. Ultimately, farmer connect® will be successful if they create new value for consumers, farmers and everyone in-between.  They are off to a great start and with future expansion ahead.