A Denver-based start-up called Bext Holdings Inc. aims to provide a fair price for coffee farmers by the use of blockchain technology. Coffee is th
A Denver-based start-up called Bext Holdings Inc. aims to provide a fair price for coffee farmers by the use of blockchain technology.
Coffee is the world`s second-most-traded commodity, after petroleum, as a recent publication on the subject in Tech Crunch (techcrunch.com) explained. Farmers who rely on growing coffee are about 125 million, as the statistics from Fairtrade Foundation (fairtrade.org.uk) stated. Most of these people are reportedly smallholders, or small-scale farmers whose families live with less than $2 a day, according to the World Bank (worldbank.org).
Bext360 is a start-up app that uses cloud-based software and blockchain technology from Stellar.org to store information regarding coffee beans` origin. Founder and CEO Daniel Jones opinionated that coffee drinkers should be able to know where their coffee came from and whether farmers were paid a fair rate for it.
“Consumers are more enlightened than ever before. And companies want to meet their high standards.”, as Jones explained.
“But in general, groups working on fair trade spend a lot of overhead on tracing materials. They use rudimentary tracing mechanisms. And it’s very imprecise. People in the field can still get exploited”, he added.
The goal of the entrepreneur is to make the supply chain more transparent. His plan is to do that with other commodities as well, the cocoa being one of them, as he commented.
Jones has previously founded a company that exported minerals from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) to the USA. In addition, he had a former job with the Defense Intelligence Agency, where he worked on a communications system for transferring voice, video and data across top-secret networks.
The start-up venture Bext360 has raised $1.2 million in seed funding from SKS Venture Partners, a family office that usually invests in financial technology.
“Using a smart phone to pass payments through to farmers directly, cutting out middlemen who too often take more than their fair share of any transaction, is what caught our attention.”, as Bext360 investor Mark Spencer said, while commenting on his decision to put money in the company.