Switzerland-based coffee trading platform and logistics provider Algrano is launching in the United States, with plans to offer quantities as small as individual 60-kilogram bags to U.S. roasters.
The tech-forward company initially launched in 2015 and has since been boosted by at least two multimillion dollar investments, while leading the shipment of hundreds of coffee containers destined for European roasters in 30 countries.
Kosta Kallivrousis, a Kansas City-based specialty coffee professional who formerly served as an account manager for green coffee trader Ally Coffee, has been tapped to lead Algrano’s U.S. sales efforts.
“Having spent eight years creating a strong direct sourcing marketplace used by hundreds of roasters in 30 European countries, we were positively surprised to see that U.S. roasters share the same needs as their peers in Europe,” Algrano CEO Raphael Studer said in an announcement of the U.S. launch. “Now, we are excited to help them find the right partners and coffees at origin, have an easier way to communicate with producers and get full price transparency and live online tracking for shipments.”
The Algrano platform is designed to facilitate transparent direct trading between green coffee producers and coffee buyers, while Algrano manages logistics. The platform operates something like a social media platform — with producers and buyers able to create their own verified profiles and tell their own stories — while facilitating direct communications between actors at both ends of the supply stream.
Algrano also facilitates smaller-volume purchasing for smaller commercial roasters through a “shared shipments” program.
A number of U.S. roasters have been participating in a U.S. pilot of the platform, with the first shipment to North America expected soon from Peru. The platform will launch in the U.S. with shared shipments from Colombia, Brazil, Ethiopia, Guatemala and Rwanda, with more to follow later in the year, according to Algrano.
In the launch announcement, Kallivrousis suggested the U.S. operations could ultimately benefit coffee producers, while also offering more variety to U.S. roasters.
“Direct trade is about more than paying a better price directly to a producer,” Kallivrousis said. “Coffee growers are alienated from determining their own reality. Algrano gives growers a platform to have direct conversations with the people who buy their coffee. This is unique. The marketplace is the starting point for meaningful connections, which leads to a greater agency for coffee growers.”
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