Join us for a short conversation with Ayane Yamada and Masahi Goto, the founders of TYPICA, and proud partners of Standart Issue 25.
What makes your green coffee trading platform unique, and where did the journey begin?
Our platform is unique in six aspects.
1. Diverse producer selection. Our micro-lot and nano lots are from a very diverse selection of producers. In 2021, we will be providing coffee from 21 countries.
2. Quality content. As coffee beans in e-commerce are growing, we feel the importance of sharing interviews and photos.
3. Transparency. We share price breakdowns and most importantly, we allow the producers to set the prices themselves. We are pursuing direct trade in the long term.
4. Creating community. We hold multiple sessions in a month for roasters to have the opportunity to meet up with producers from each country. Participation is available to anyone interested.
5. Hands-on support at the site of production. We have placed a Curator in each production site to help with the following: conducting interviews and shooting photos for content, developing new coffee farms, teaching ways to increase quality, lending funds and investing.
6. Everything is digital. By digitizing, we can offer seasonal crops as soon as they are available and provide reasonable prices.
Our journey began with Ayane Yamada, one of the founders of Typica. Ayane started as a roaster, and it was while she was a roaster when she felt frustrated with the coffee sourcing. Speciality coffee was meant to be something where the uniqueness of the region and its producers is expressed, though she struggled to find a way to access the information she wanted about the beans. It was from these struggles that she wanted to create a platform where any roaster, regardless of size and experience, can have the opportunity to connect with producers.
Your goal is to grow the community to 5,000 producers across 70 countries worldwide by 2025. How do you make the global direct trade from 1 bag of coffee possible at a reasonable cost for all sides involved?
We make reasonable prices possible because we are digitized. First, we only order what has been reserved in the offer list. By understanding how many orders have been made in advance, we can find the most cost-efficient logistics - this brings down the freight cost. In addition, as we only order what has been reserved, there is no cost to managing stocks. Moreover, through digital transformation, we were able to create an effective operation process that allows us to operate in a small team, bringing down the fee even more.
How do you see the impact of digital transformation on green coffee trading?
The impact green coffee trading will have due to digital transformation is transparency. Digitalization helps create a transparent and simple supply chain, this means that we can create a world where producers’ efforts will be rewarded. We can create a positive chain reaction where this can help build a sustainable coffee industry, which will boost the number of high-quality producers, and in turn, expand coffee origin diversity. Transparency can protect and grow the coffee industry.
'Speciality coffee was meant to be something where the uniqueness of the region and its producers is expressed.'
Being digital also means that we can act fast. We currently already offer coffee beans that are in season, but perhaps one day, we can enjoy coffee as a seasonal drink, where we can enjoy each flavour in its season.
This interview was published in partnership with Typica.