TRANSPARENCY>>

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Let's talk about knowing where your coffee comes from. Here's a copy of yesterday's coffee harvested from one part of one of my favorite farms in the world. You can see the variety, volume, date, etc., so that everything is traced. This is what repeatable quality looks like, and it's why we continue to partner with the amazing Don Miguel Menendez and his family and his extended farm family, many of whom have been with him for decades. 

As technology advances so much of this paper trail is becoming digitized. We at Brown are actively exploring ways we can help facilitate the transition from paper to digital in as many places we work with around the world. We are already working out the details for our contribution to a digitized scale for our producer friends in Kenya as a way for them to eliminate the time consuming burden of copying everything in triplicate. A digitized scale will give each smallholder producer a unique PIN. When they delivery cherry to the mill, they input their PIN and up comes a readout of their entire history: Did the producer take a loan for inputs? How many visits have they made to the mill and how much cherry was delivered each time? What is the total YTD volume of cherry for him or her? Have they been paid on any of this yet? And so forth. There's even talk of linking the Kenya scale to Mpeza, which is the local Kenya digital currency payment system so that payments can be immediately paid to the farmer via mobile phone. Anything that can be done to speed up the pace of business is good because faster transactions almost always result in more rapid wealth creation. This is the future and it's a good one.