According to Switzerland-based Algrano, which recently completed an approximately $4 million USD investment funding round, the purpose of the campaign is to further close the technology gap that exists between coffee producers and actors in traditional consumer markets, while simultaneously helping participating farmers identify and improve coffee quality and consistency.
“Producing outstanding coffee is for many coffee growers the only alternative in an environment of low market prices for commodity coffees,” Algrano states in the campaign, which officially launched today. “This crowdfunding campaign is raising money to support coffee growers in their quest for quality.”
The ongoing fundraising campaign sets a modest goal of $20,000 USD, while five backers have as of this writing contributed a little more than $6,000. For its part, London, UK-based Ikawa is matching donations of its Ikawa Pro V3 Sample Roaster, sending two machines to participating producer organizations for every one funded by the campaign. According to the campaign website, the small-capacity, high-tech roasting machines carry a base cost of $4,720, with VAT and shipping resulting in totals between $5,306 and $5,991, depending on the final destination.
For now, the campaign is benefitting four producer groups in three countries, each of which is part of Algrano’s online trading program: the APAS Coffee Cooperative in Brazil; La Marianela Coffee in Colombia; and Norcafé and Aprocassi, both in Peru.
All contributors to the campaign will be entered into a drawing to receive one 60-kilo bag of Ethiopian green coffee sourced from a microlot through Yirgacheffe Coffee Farmers Cooperative Union.
“A conversation around quality starts with understanding differences in taste profiles and requires a consistent roast of green beans,” the campaign states. “Unfortunately, most coffee growers do not have access to roasting devices and depend on costly quality laboratories hours away from the farm. Fast learning cycles and consistency are lost.”