In the past few years and despite the pandemic, we’ve seen a consistent growth of the specialty coffee global market. One element driving this, is the progessive shift of specialty coffee from being an elitist product to becoming more approachable.
And as it’s becoming more approachable, end consumers are also becoming more “sustainable-conscious”, and are demanding that their coffee suppliers become more transparent about their sustainability efforts and certainty of being part of a fair and inclusive value chain.
However, coffee is still primarily bought and sold as a commodity crop, meaning its sale value is tied to international futures markets like the NYSE, and is not reflective of the widely varying levels of quality and differentiation among beans.
The bond between the price of coffee and the commodity market has been extremely detrimental to producers who have been subject to its volatility and speculation for years, keeping them trapped in poverty, and often forcing them to sell their crops below production costs and with little chance of access to a fair market that values quality.
In order to improve this situation, direct trade was born as a spectacular manner to stand in strong contrast to the model of acquiring coffee as a commodity, in which larger transnational corporations buy untraceable coffee through brokers at the lowest price the market can dictate. However, relying fully on direct-trade for sourcing coffee is way too often an option that is almost exclusively available to big roasters, and is frequently constrained by logistics and traveling options in these post-pandemic times.
Fantine was born to help coffee producers access international markets, link them to roasters and enable them to transact in a more direct, reliable and transparent way.
Through Fantine’s digital marketplace, buyers get to know all the information about the coffee and the farm including sustainable practices not limited to certifications. Buyers can access very specific types of coffee, such as processes that are not widely available because farmers don’t produce them for the mass market.
Fantine solves the issues of doing direct trade, while keeping its values.
Buying green coffee is somewhat complicated. The coffee has to be shipped around half the world and most coffee roasters as well as coffee producers are not experts in international trading and its regulations.
We know this and that’s why we created Fantine.
Fantine makes direct trade easy.
Through Fantine, roasters can easily do on-demand coffee trading in a transparent and convenient way.
We believe in transparency and in mutually valuable and respectful relationships between roasters and farmers. We share with our partners and clients all the relevant information about every step of the trade – including who receives how much along the way. This means that we communicate exactly how much money is paid to the producers for their coffee.
The main motivation behind Fantine is to help each roaster find the right supplier for its business.
We want roasters to be able to choose the right producers to work with, those growers that are aligned with the roasters’ core business values, whether for reasons of excellent quality, contribution to poverty reduction or social development, or because they share the same values in protecting the environment.
There are truly knowledgeable and experienced producers in Colombia and all around the world, that are able to craft incredible coffees. The problem for roasters is that it is sometimes very difficult to find and connect to them.
In turbulent times such as those we live in today, too often characterized by a world with an increasing amount of challenges and dangers, it is any coffee value chain player’s responsibility to act fairly and to be aware of risks or not doing so.
Certifications are not enough. In reality, we reckon that the value chain still relies too heavily on certification labels that often leave out small producers, or those producers who are doing a spectacular job but simply do not see the economic value in paying for the certifications.
Through Fantine, roasters and coffee growers with small farms or large estates share a common goal: smooth direct trade with sales on demand at a fair price.
Fantine is an independent company not backed by large coffee corporations which has been working since 2019 in the R&D of technology for the digitization and transparency of the coffee value chain. This marketplace is just one part of the company’s mission to digitize the entire coffee value chain through the application of Artificial Intelligence and blockchain technology. Fantine currently has personnel in Colombia, Europe and the UK. Behind Fantine there’s a team of coffee lovers, software developers and engineers, with more than 15 years of experience in coffee production, quality, processing and logistics.