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Indranil commented on Caldas Coffee Direct Exchange

This is a very nice concept, and something that could really work! Do you envisage each farmer defining their own kinds of coffee (organic, bean consistency, processing consistency, etc.), or would the network define a few standard variations to which all of the farmers would comply? Perhaps a good customer base for this would be small and independent coffeeshops & cafés that could consolidate their demands and order higher volumes from the coffee exchange. If the consolidated volumes are high enough to fit a shipping container, the coffee exchange can meet global demands. I wanted to share some thoughts in getting such a concept working. Perhaps the principal challenges of organizing such a network is that participants usually work in a de-centralized, disruptive, and distributed manner.

De-centralized : large-scale process transformation is usually not possible, as each grower/buyer has their own ways of working, and opportunities like this exchange provide them with spot sales opportunities. The growers usually have fixed price/ fixed term sales at extortionate prices (usually to large buyers and corporates), and are already participating in other processes that constrain them from adopting radical changes in their ways of work. Any working solution to enable them to participate in your network will probably need them to embrace their own ways of working.

Disruptive : Farmers/Buyers need to do lots of things at the same time. And not everything gets finished at one go. There is a tendency to switch back and forth between lots of tasks.

Distributed : Farmers/Buyers tend to be physically distributed with internet connections good and bad.

The easiest thing to realize in these networks are the online webshop and the online collaborative spaces. It's the real-time stock, consistent and detailed product information, ordering and invoicing, planning, consolidation, packaging, transport, and returns that get tricky. The efficiencies of these processes often underline the success of such collaborative networks.