Founded in 2019, just prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, FARMly is a Brazilian startup company dedicated to helping smaller coffee producers connect with international roasters. Their aim is to act as the bridge between the two, making otherwise unlikely link-ups a possibility. In acting as the bridge, one of FARMLY’s aims is to make sure both parties are given a fair deal, as well as have an otherwise inefficient process streamlined. 

Since its formation, the company has steadily grown, seeing the number of goods being traded between producers and roasters rising by 3-4× per annum, while bringing in revenue of €493, 000 (circa US$520,667).

This is aided by the fact that the company exports to more than 19 countries across Europe, from the Scandinavian region to Central Europe, in countries such as the Netherlands, Belgium, and Germany.

Nowadays, FARMLY connects 1,130 producers with 332 roasters. The European coffee market is said to be worth €8 billion (circa US$8.4 billion), and FARMLY aims to eventually reach €122 million (circa US$128 million) in turnover.

As the initial step in FARMly’s work process, producers have to submit samples of their coffee beans to a FARMly partner Q Grader. Once the sample meets the requirements, it is approved to be publicly offered in the marketplace, which is then displayed on their site and includes an SCA Score and Sensory Scale to provide roasters with the necessary information.

With regard to the SCA Score and how it affects the pricing of the coffee, FARMly CEO Adriano Salvi told Dhanliza from Bartalks that they target cupping scores above 83 points. Coffees that score between 83 and 85 require a minimum number of available bags. For 86 and above, there‘s no minimum amount. Besides the cupping score, there are other factors that influence the price of coffee. Post-harvest process, coffee variety and country of origin, among others.

For cupping scores above 83 points, we can get from 30% more – for the basic coffees – to 200% – for more top-class coffees – compared to commodity coffee prices. There are some rare coffees that easily extrapolate this percentage.

Adriano Salvi, FARMly CEO

After a thorough check and selection, FARMly organizes the shipping of bags to the roaster and sends them through FARMly’s chosen logistics partner. Upon confirmation of receipt, the company then keeps between 15 to 20 percent of the purchase price from each transaction.

In addition to positioning producers to find suitable deals for themselves, FARMly also offers services such as Farmly Pay, a fintech that provides farmers with working capital financing. It differentiates from traditional bank systems by the speed and reduction of the credit analysis bureaucracy, along with the absence of guarantees usually requested by the banks and what small producers cannot meet. 

FARMly CEO Salvi told Bartalks that in 2021, they offered working capital financing to some producers in a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) way. “For the 2022 Brazilian harvest, we will raise money with financial companies, aiming to achieve a sustainable fundraising structure. It is important to state that our plans include the launching of a digital bank designed specifically for coffee farmers.

It is important to state that our plans include the launching of a digital bank designed specifically for coffee farmers

Adriano Salvi, FARMly CEO

Once the sale prices are fixed and paid in euro, we set an interest rate substantially higher than the European interest rate but much lower than the Brazilian one.” It’s vital to emphasise that over 44% of coffee producers worldwide live below the poverty line, and 22% survive in even worse conditions. This makes credit in traditional ways almost impossible and perpetuates a cycle of inequality and unsustainability.

As part of its ecosystem of interconnected services, FARMly also has its own social network, Cultivari. It connects the entire network of FARMly company, coffee producers and roasters. Since producers often have international buyers whom they work with, FARMLY offers export and import services separately, and only a logistics company is needed.

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