Despite being one of the most popular drinks in the world (and an essential part of many of our mornings), the coffee industry’s long supply chain remains convoluted and complex. This lack of transparency means that smallholder farmers often bear the brunt of price fluctuations and volatility, and see little of the wealth generated down the line. We learnt more about the initiatives creating a more efficient coffee supply chain and, in the process, addressing disparities in power and improving livelihoods around the world. With Fredrik Galtung, Founder CEO, TrueFootprint; Mark Furniss, Senior Director- Partnership, Enveritas and Michael Chrisment, CEO, Farmer Connect. Moderated by James Kibera, Founder, Trunor Financial Technologies
Fredrik Galtung is Founder CEO of TrueFootprint, a startup that works with asset managers, corporates and people in local communities to produce better ESG, sustainability and impact data – and improved results. TrueFootprint’s technology empowers people to collect data and take ownership of solutions to improve their lives and the businesses they work in.
James Kibera: Between 1977 and 1978, my family made investment in two coffee farms just outside of the capital Nairobi. Growing up the holidays were very much filled with activities at the farm and we occasionally worked summers on the farm. The idea growing up that we would ever work on the farm was considered almost absurd (stuff of worst nightmares). It was hard work, extremely risky business with more chance of losses than profits in more years than one might consider reasonable
So in 2000, after 5 years in banking and few years later in regional logistics finding myself as person running my family assets in coffee farming and real estate was a mixture of shock and grief. It turned out to be in many respects the roles that gave me my most reputation, fame, global recognition and for my parent’s financial security. I left the role in 2012 officially, and went on to develop a range of business interest that have culminated in an investment in a Fintech company in the United Kingdom
Mark Furniss has worked in the coffee trade for 24 years, most of that time spent with ED&F Man/ Volcafe, a leading international trade house. He has held roles based in East and West Africa, Asia and Europe. After being late to a meeting in 2006, he was tasked with heading up sustainability strategy, a task at the time that was deemed deeply unfashionable. This led to an unexpected expertise in sustainable commodity sourcing, and a subsequent move to the NGO sector. He currently works for Enveritas, a not-for-profit start-up applying big data and deep learning technologies to help solve some of the most intractable problems facing sustainability in the soft-commodity sector.
Michael Chrisment has been leading Farmer Connect as CEO since June 2020, championing the mission to humanize consumption through technology. He has an extensive background in marketing, media, and FMCG, and he brings a deep understanding of the challenges in coffee and chocolate industries, having worked for global consumer companies such as Nestlé and Mondelēz. He is an innovative and creative leader with extensive international expertise in marketing, recognising the value a brand can give to a company and its shareholders. Michael is fascinated by both tech and great food, and how they can be brought together.
Before joining Farmer Connect, Michael was Global Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) at Konbini for nearly three years, based in Lausanne. From May 2013 to July 2017, he was Global Head of Integrated Marketing for the Beverages business unit at Nestlé covering NESCAFE, Nestlé Coffee-Mate and Nestea brands. This followed a role leading Mondelēz International European Digital Marketing for almost four years working across their 5 categories of products and 27 countries in Europe. Prior to this he worked extensively in leading global agencies including TBWA Paris, Ogilvy and EuroRSCG. He holds an Executive MBA from HEC Paris and a Master of Interactive Marketing from IIM Paris. In parallel, since January 2020, he is co-founder, art curator and treasurer for the Art gallery and Cultural center – association Lac (Les Arts et la Culture) in Vevey Switzerland