Follow Friday: Token Coffee

Around the time I wrote about BlueCity, I also listened to the Food Heroes Podcast about Wize Monkey, a company making tea from coffee leaves.

Because the bean harvest is only three months long, the majority of the industry’s labor does not have steady work for the remainder of the year. By making a product from the coffee leaves, farmers have steadier work, which means more income, which means growing prosperity with rippling effects.

As the third most-consumed beverage in the world, Wize Monkey is just one of the many businesses starting to take responsibility for the coffee supply chain. In fact, some companies are even using blockchain technology to create a radically transparent product.

Token Coffee and FairChain Foundation

More than just a certification and a label, FairChain Foundation provides visibility not just to the businesses involved in the supply chain, but also the consumer. In this way, everyone can be held accountable (as discussed in my article explaining blockchain and logistics).

Token Coffee was born from a partnership among FairChain Foundation, Moyee Coffee (who also works with Rotterzwam at BlueCity), and Bext360, which bolsters sustainable practices and ethical supply chains using technology. Together, they created a solution to the coffee industry’s questionable practice of fair trade.

FairChain’s objective is “all about sharing the value created in production chains fairly.” And coffee, with layers of unfairness building on top of each other, is a great place to start.

So how does blockchain make coffee consumption better?

It starts when you visit their website. We’re all used to being prompted to sign up for newsletters, but pay attention: Token Coffee asks you to be a CEO. By purchasing Token Coffee, you become a custodian of the company. You agree to be part of this blockchain, and to contribute to the radical transparency of this supply chain.

And as a result of this radical transparency, no one in the supply chain can double-back on their commitment without everyone else knowing it. They admit that they haven’t quite yet reached their goal of a 50/50 split in value – they’re only at 32/68.

But as more people make the commitment to buy Token Coffee, they will continue to close the gap between what consumers pay and what farmers earn.

Final Thoughts

Currently they are focusing efforts on developing coffee farms in Ethiopia, where 25% of the population depends on the coffee trade for a living.

As of November 2018, Token no longer has any bags left for sale, but you can still sign up to be notified of the next opportunity to invest.

What makes this more radical than any other blockchain endeavor is that the whole business is about shedding light on the entire industry. Efforts have been made to move carrots, almonds, and lettuce using blockchain technology, but Moyee, FairChain, and Bext360 have made the choice to build Token entirely around the need for visibility.


Do you like how I talk nerdy? Let’s get coffee!

Author: Sterling Schuyler

Sterling writes to put broad statements into real context. She enjoys conducting in-depth research in order to bring factual integrity to any topic, especially anything about food. Whether it's the ethics of food science or the tale of a family-owned business, Sterling loves to breathe life and substance into these stories. In her downtime, she enjoys gardening, playing board games and video games, and writing for her personal blog The Asian Craving.

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