Best Ideas 2020 features all the nominated entries submitted under ‘Submit your Idea’ category. All the entries consist of innovative solutions or propositions for an enterprise that champions the Sustainable Development Goals. They can be on the conceptual, planning, or start-up stage.
Somos Café, cocoa, Vanilla
Explain your idea in details:
The management is based on fair trade and traded according to the principles of economic solidarity and sustainability, which can be verified by the Participatory Guarantee System (SPG) from your hand to mine and face to face, which evaluates all the criteria of social, environmental and alternative economic sustainability. Transparency and the social factor of the value chain are elements that characterize the idea. Customers know the entire process, which ends with a cup of coffee in their hands. It is important to get this message across to consumers. A social networking platform will be created to promote the product and at the same time give consumers the opportunity to learn more about the product, from cultivation to consumption. With a monthly subscription the possibility is created directly to support agriculture in the sense of a solidarity agriculture and to have planning security, as well as to avoid small packages.
Expected impact of your idea on sustainable development
An alternative to commercializing coffee, cocoa and vanilla is to support smaller producers and focus on quality. The production of coffee in a sustainable manner is one of the priorities of the global coffee sector in recent years, as the International Coffee Organization has emphasized. In addition, it is best practice for value chain players to invest in producer support, community development and landscape conservation. These aspects are of key importance to the idea. The aim is also to make the market more transparent, as it is currently largely unsustainable for farmers in the producing countries. The company focuses on agroforestry in special ecological and social quality, to produce under the conditions of organic farming. Through the social media, the customers are informed about the cultivation practices/processing as well as the socio-economic situation of those involved. For the consumers a substantial ecological and social sustainable improvement is selected with our product made of high quality and diverse raw materials. We want to save the cost of organic certification per farmer, which is about 3000 Euro/year, and other production processes like roasting, which costs about 1000 Euro/year for an organic certificate. A direct and transparent relationship between producers and final distributors is a need and an opportunity to create a commercial relationship with conditions that allow small farmers to obtain a better income for their product, as well as to promote biodiversity and reforestation and to preserve the cultural landscape of small producers in Mexico (farmers and indigenous people). There are several similar concepts and processes, but none that relates all processes at once, as our socio-ecological value chain will do. It is important to create a social and ecological awareness of the reality of the producers in the countries of origin.
Plans for implementation and sustainability
The idea can be realized with detailed planning reliability. A segmentation and positioning strategy is also desirable to find a suitable way for customers to understand and appreciate the added value of the commercial offer. The following steps are of technical, legal and logistical nature. First, it is necessary to carry out the market study in order to be able to make concrete decisions. The quantities of coffee to be imported must be determined and the appropriate procedures must be implemented in each country. Another step is the budgeting of operational expenses, e.g. for the import and the costs for sea transport. The sea transport costs are about 150 Euro for 600 kg. For port and nationalization costs there are currently still 2.19 Euro/kg taxes for roasted coffee in Germany. This levied coffee tax is currently being discussed by the development minister to exempt fair and sustainable traded coffee. The coffee beans are to be roasted in the country of origin. The profit is to be distributed fairly among all parties involved. To implement the idea, it will be necessary to visit potential investors and then present a defined project to them. For the operation it will be necessary to expand the team of employees step by step. The potential cooperation partners are small coffee producers in Mexico. The idea covers the fields of agronomy, ecology, economy and sociology. In this way, different phases of coffee production can be recorded in a holistic and multidisciplinary manner.
With a focus on plant sciences, I studied agricultural sciences at the University of Hohenheim in Stuttgart and then organic agricultural sciences at the University of Kassel. My final thesis dealt with the integration of unaccompanied minor refugees in social farming - from the perspective of participating farmers. With the question what distinguishes social farming and how is an economic integration of social services possible, I would like to develop this aspect further in the form of social entrepreneurship. During my studies I gained practical experience at the Crops Research Institute in Kumasi, Ghana. In Ghana, the use of Nestlé products and especially Nescafé was obvious, although it is possible to grow and market the coffee locally. During my professional internship during my studies I dealt with the topic of subsistence farming and completed my practical training on two farms in northeast and south Portugal. In teamwork during my studies we prepared an interactive radio program at the Free Radio Kassel with the topic "Organic Farming on Air" as part of a project work. With a lot of creativity by alternating interviews with scientists and producers as well as consumers, we made sure that the educational content of the study program was broadcast on the radio. After my studies I got to know a professional colleague during my internship in Colombia. I began to learn a little more about the coffee situation, on the one hand about the quality of coffee in the region, but also about the difficulties. This led to my interest in founding a company to support small-scale agriculture and to form a multidisciplinary team. In Germany I gained experience in the field of quality management and auditing and I would like to use this knowledge to promote the sales of the products and to find an alternative for certification.