Algrano, a start-up supported by the start-up Brasil programme, has developed what it claims is the first on-line marketplace for coffee growers and roasters. Using the Algrano website, roasters can buy coffees straight from a farm.
The first lots were made available for sale via the site in June. The aim of algrano is to make it easy for roasters to buy direct at origin, offering full price, transparency and the ability to interact with producers. The company has been working with producers in Brazil and Nicaragua and developing partnerships with exporters.
Since its launch in June, a number of Nicaraguan farmers have sold green coffee directly to roasters in Switzerland and Germany and 38 samples and 19 reviews have been written up online. Six roasters have ordered green coffee straight from the growers via the platform and more than 240 roasters and producers have expressed an interest in using algrano.
In Brazil, algrano is working with APAS, a co-operative of 60 growers in the south of Minas Gerais. The Fair Trade certified co-op is planning to use algrano to develop direct trade relationships with coffee roasters around the world. To make this possible, algrano created the concept of the ‘virtual container,’ via which producers offer their coffees for sale, with a defined port of destination and arrival date.
Roasters within the reach of the port can ask for samples, review the coffees and place their orders to fill in the container. By grouping roasters’ orders, Algrano hopes to be able to overcome the challenges of trading small quantities of coffees directly.