September 3, 2020 - Food & Beverage Magazine | Merilee Kern
The coffee industry’s ties to colonialism have led to fresh brewed conversations and reporting about alleged inequalities and poor pay at various levels of the coffee supply chain as well as concerns over systemic exploitation of coffee producers. This as the global coffee market growth continues to percolate its way toward a forecasted U.S. $134.25 billion in 2024 according to one industry outlook. Amid this dichotomy, a new platform called iFinca has emerged with the mission of creating greater transparency in the coffee supply chain.
While the prices consumers pay for a cup of coffee has increased over the years and as consumer demand rises, various reports have underscored the extent to which farm workers have remained marginalized with low wages, lack of contract protections, migratory work requirements, health risks and other points of suffrage. iFinca seeks to address these and other concerns.
“The iFinca mobile application links farmers for the first time as equal participants and stakeholders in the coffee supply chain,” says iFinca CEO Alexander Barrett. “In turn, this integration provides the last missing piece of data that roasters, cafes and consumers have been demanding…the ‘farmgate’ price.”
The iFinca Web site aptly underscores the platform’s bottom line intention, stating, “Our app connects you to the farmers behind your cup of coffee. Bridging the information gap, sharing producers’ stories and providing real data about how much they were paid, so that you can buy a coffee from a company whose values align with yours.”
Keeping farmers fully informed has clearly been a challenge within the supply chain, so the iFinca platform can establish a more level playing field—on the agriculture and manufacturing side and in the marketplace at large. The iFinca app, available on Google Play and in the App Store, bridges the information gap between producers and consumers; provides real data points like how much producers are paid; and, thus, empowers consumers to make more informed and ethical choices about their coffee purchases. Also helping streamline consumer efforts is iFinca-verified coffee, identifiable with a “Meet the Farmer” QR code, which is now available at participating merchants.
iFinca started with the idea that more revenue should be shared directly with coffee farmers. They make this possible by putting greater power in the hands of buyers like you.