Swiss-based Farmer Connect, the global supply chain software provider that enables fair, sustainable and traceable agriculture, has secured $9 million (£6.5million) in a Series A investment round to help in its mission to make agriculture supply chains sustainable.
The investment was led by ITOCHU Corporation, a major Japanese general trading company that supplies raw materials to manufacturers and retailers around the world. Additional investors from Europe and both North and South America participated in the round, along with founding partner Sucafina, the “Farm to Roaster” coffee company.
The financing follows significant growth in 2020, which included a surge in revenues and a rapidly expanding roster of clients and industry partnerships, including UCC Coffee, as previously reported.
Farmer Connect was founded in 2019. It provides software to help global smallholder farmers connect digitally to the agriculture supply chain using blockchain technology and artificial intelligence. It also allows consumers to use an app to trace the origins and quality of the goods, as well as giving the option to financially support the producers.
Farmer Connect said its software helped farmers access financing and investment, therefore improving living conditions, and also benefits traders, roasters, retailers and brands by streamlining the process for them to access sustainable produce through task automation, reporting and smart contracts.
Michael Chrisment, Farmer Connect Chief Executive Officer said:
The agriculture supply chain is crying out for a data-led approach, and consumers want to be able to make informed decisions about the products they buy.
Traceability has traditionally been highly challenging and fragmented, but technologies like blockchain bring all parties in the supply chain together, simplifying the exchange and tracking of information and payments, and enabling greater trust.
This, in turn, empowers smallholder farmers, reduces inefficiencies for global enterprises, and informs people about how their products were produced.
He also said there is huge supply chain demand for traceability, ESG and SDG tracking, carbon footprint tracking and further task automation.
This investment round will help to scale rapidly to meet demand and fulfil their commitments to support industry transformation.
The $9 million funding will support the continued development of new products and services specifically in the area of ESG and SDG tracking, and the recruitment of sector-specialist commercial and customer success teams across the world (including Geneva, New York City, Singapore, and Brazil) in sectors that impact smallholder farmers, such as coffee, cocoa, tea, spices, and fragrances.