iFinca makes direct connection to Colombian coffee farmers through Coffee for Peace

Transparency-driven mobile platform creator iFinca has worked with the USAID-sponsored Coffee for Peace initiative to allow American coffee buyers to purchases coffee from Cooperativa Nuevo Futuro in Colombia’s Cauca Department.

Launched in 2019, iFinca is a Colombia-based technology company that created the iFinca mobile app, which aims to connect consumers to the farmers behind the coffee they drink.

In addition to providing that connection, the innovative platform allows for full economic transparency and traceability, providing buyers and farmers with a guaranteed price and third-party-validated payments.

“You will often find a disconnect between café and farm,” says Alexander Barrett, Founder and CEO of iFinca. “iFinca’s app provides farmers a voice to speak directly to consumers and buyers. It offers baristas and roasters the chance to tell a complete story about the coffee. iFinca’s new technology is finally bridging the gap and helping to create a more holistic relationship between farmers and buyers. By empowering farmers, we can create a better future for the industry.”

iFinca discovered Cooperativa Nuevo Futuro through Coffee for Peace, which works to develop, facilitate, and promote the trade of traceable coffees from historic conflict zones in Colombia – including Cauca. In December, Coffee for Peace connected iFinca to the cooperative, and iFinca soon agreed to facilitate the purchase of 22,000 pounds of green coffee from Nuevo Futuro in local currency for the equivalent of US$2.35 per pound, a farm-gate price 202 per cent above the Colombian daily price at the time.

Cooperativa Nuevo Futuro, headquartered in Cauca’s capital city of Popayan, launched in 1996, when coffee began being promoted in the area as an alternative to illicit crops. After purchasing Nuevo Futuro’s coffee in January 2020, iFinca trained five farmers from Nuevo Futuro on how to use the app: Alejandro Llanten, Luis Alfonso Medina, Luz Elva Chacon, Reinerio Gomez, and Andres Chacon.

With that know-how, the farmers have been able to track the financial information of buyers’ purchases from iFinca, and will be able to communicate with end consumers about the cooperative and their coffee.

Consumers will be able to enjoy Cooperativa Nuevo Futuro’s coffee soon through the three United States based roasters that purchased the coffee and are connected to the cooperative through the iFinca mobile app: Craft Brew Coffee in Belleville, Illnois; Xanadu Coffee Company in Phoenix, Arizona; and The Press Espresso in Temecula, California. The roasters will receive the green coffee in April and will be adding it to their offerings soon.

iFinca plans to continue connecting buyers to coffees from organisations in regions where the Coffee for Peace initiative operates, paying farmers above-market prices that help improve their livelihoods.

“iFinca is excited to be part of the Coffee for Peace initiative,” Barrett says. “Our model of ‘farmers first’ aligns with the mission of Nuevo Futuro. The iFinca mobile app is designed as a tool for all farmers to provide a point of connection, increase the price they receive for their coffee, and give consumers and buyers full transparency for each cup of coffee.”

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