NEW YORK, NY and RALEIGH, NC. JUNE 29, 2023 – CropConex is pioneering technology to radically increase international coffee trade efficiency and transparency. Black and White Roasters is the first US buyer to leverage this new tool.
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“[CropConex] really just opens up avenues for collaboration and connection globally, which is a fascinating opportunity,” said Kyle Ramage, co-founder of Black and White Roasters.
Black and White Roasters, headquartered in Raleigh, NC, recently utilized CropConex to cup, contract, receive and release their selection of an Anaerobic Natural processed coffee from Dara Coffee Export PLC. The entire process, from contracting a fresh pre-milling sample to launching the coffee on their menu, only took four weeks. The CropConex marketplace currently presents coffee offerings from reliable Ethiopian producers to the US market but is working to expand their operation to other countries in the near future.
CropConex aims to create opportunities for smaller producers and exporters to participate in an open coffee marketplace traditionally dominated by large corporations. By connecting buyers directly to coffee suppliers (and everyone in-between), CropConex is working to cut billions of dollars of waste created by global trading inefficiencies.
The marketplace currently offers:
- A diverse catalog of Ethiopian coffees with on-the-ground presence and quality control at origin.
- Access to greater volume flexibility than traditional suppliers.
- A commercial airline partnership with groundbreaking air-shipping rates from Ethiopia at under $1.30/lb.
- Real-time data updates and feedback as coffee moves through the supply chain.
How the platform works for coffee buyers:
• Browse the marketplace and request samples for coffees of interest.
• Provide valuable feedback directly to producers.
- Secure contracts, payment and export logistics within the platform.
- Receive quality checks, shipment status updates and delivery within weeks.
“One of the most memorable moments in this process was receiving video updates from the dry mill. I loved seeing that kind of information and transparency, and it was really fun for the whole team,” said Matt Ferraro, Head Roaster at Black and White.
The CropConex platform tracks every step in the sales and logistics process, from sampling to ordering to delivery, and reports progress in an easy-to-understand, centralized portal. This streamlining of communication between suppliers, buyers, and logistics service providers enables both the buyer and seller to connect throughout the entire process, cultivating a deeper level of transparency in the specialty coffee supply chain.
Brianna Dickey, founder & CEO of CropConex, developed the platform to unlock greater access, fairness and potential in the international coffee trade market. The company plans to offer education on existing and future ecosystems of trade. They encourage discourse on the equal rights to growth and the mutual benefits found in collective progress.
“Ubuntu is the African concept of common humanity, oneness, you and me both. It’s a concept in which your sense of self is shaped by your relationships with other people, and at the heart of what we do at CropConex,” said Dickey. “We wish to tap into our collective right to opportunity and prosperity by reverse engineering sustainable economic development.”
Follow CropConex® and Black and White Roasters® for updates and more information.
CropConex is a value chain management platform bringing the coffee trade ecosystem online, with tools to streamline operations and de-risk trade. The platform empowers buyers, sellers, and exporters to grow together, by making value chains traceable, efficient, and accessible. Starting in Ethiopia, this New York based startup seeks to unlock greater efficiency in global trade, increasing access and prosperity for all. Visit the website to learn more.
About Black and White Roasters®:
Roasting out of Raleigh, North Carolina, Lemuel Butler and Kyle Ramage co-founded Black and White Roasters in 2017. They are both US coffee champion title holders: 2016 US Barista Champion and 2017 US Barista Champion, respectively. They operate three locations in NC and roast to ship globally, striving to connect people to the most interesting and approachable coffees that they can find.
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