When they say fair trade, organic, biological or sustainable food, do we really really get what we paid for? How true are these stories behind the products that we buy? Does the farmer really get what they deserve? for example, in the chocolate supply chain, farmers get only up to 6.6% of the value of the supply chain. 80% of the value is shared between brands and retailers. Even in conventional fairtrade, they may get up to 10% of the value of the supply chain. But are these enough for the farmers?
How we got here
We come from one of the most beautiful states in south India called Kerala ( usually called God’s Own Country ). Our childhood was around farms and farmers since our families have an agricultural background. We have been entrepreneurs right from our college days. Our first Indian company was established in 2011 while we were 20 years old. Initially, we were into web and mobile application development and one of our apps got treading at top 10 social apps in India. But our focus shifted to agri-food quality assurance software projects in 2013 and within a few years, our apps were being used by multinational NGOs, research institutes, and international certification bodies.
“ Our software projects in the agri sector helped us understand better about the lack of transparency and fair prices in food supply chains ”
Why We Do This
When it comes to transparency in food supply chains, we think its too difficult and complex for large brands to implement. Unless there is 100% transparency, how can we trust the stories behind these brands? When it comes to quality assurance these days, everything runs on top of paper trails which people can manipulate. This is why we started the Right Origins foundation. Through this foundation, we wanted to manage a marketplace of brands that are co-owned by farmer cooperatives and those with 100% transparency in their supply chains. We ensure that all the products that are listed in the marketplace will have their supply chain data systems integrated with blockchain so that they cannot create fake stories behind their products. Thus consumers will get an online shopping site where they can buy products that they can trust and farmers will get an online platform to launch their own food brands.
How are we different from other fairtrade brands?
Conventionally, a brand can become a fairtrade brand if they provide a small premium to the farmers. Such brands are not owned by farmers. For example, in the chocolate supply chain, farmers get only up to 6.6% of the value of the supply chain. 80% of the value is shared between brands and retailers. Even in conventional fairtrade, they may get up to 10% of the value of the supply chain. In our platform, farmer cooperatives themselves co-own the brand. They get the majority of the profits which means they can get up to 40% of the value of the supply chain. Also, they become more responsible in their farming practices since they also own the final brand.
The pilot project
In order to kickstart all this, we are starting off with our pilot campaign called the Chocolate revolution. Through this campaign, we will be launching a chocolate brand that is owned by an Indian farmer cooperative. The entire cocoa supply chain behind the chocolate is made transparent through the use of blockchain technology. On scanning the QR code, you can literally talk to the chocolate bar and ask it everything regarding its journey right from farms to the chocolate bar.