Algrano lets roasters source to the beat of their own drum


Swiss start-up Algrano is celebrating its upgraded B2B platform that offers a range of new digital tools which gives roasters and producers greater control and visibility over the coffee supply chain.

These upgrades were added over the past year and is described by the company as a milestone.

Founded in 2015, Algrano seeks to bring coffee sourcing to the next level by transferring the power from the traders to the roasters and producers. Its online platform allows roasters to buy coffee directly from producers, while Algrano looks after the logistics, quality assurance, and price transparency.

Initially designed as a no-barrier communication channel and marketplace for micro-lots, the platform has since grown, now offering an advanced interface that provides users with greater autonomy and control.

To celebrate, the company is releasing its new campaign titled ‘Be the Coffee DJ’ that aims to encourage roasters to “mute the middleman and amp up the producer”.

This campaign sees Algrano release a series of illustrations, comparing coffee sourcing to music and the act of creating playlist in collaboration with Algrano’s partners in producing countries.

“The concept is simple: if the upsurge of streaming gave people control over what they listen to and how they listen to it, the new Algrano gives roasters control of who they source from and how they do it, making them the DJs of the supply chain. It’s time to mute the middleman and amp up the producer,” says Algrano.

Its platform’s newest features allow roasters to plan, build partnerships, provide feedback, manage their inventory, release coffee from the warehouse, ands schedule road transport, all from one place, and activated in one click.

Its novel personalised sourcing planning allows roasters to schedule the delivery of coffee, which Algrano ships regardless of volume. The platform now also offers warehousing services on-demand, to increase cost efficiency and allow direct sample feedback.

Producers can also contact these potential buyers as soon as a roaster orders a sample from their platform.

“In a nutshell: Algrano’s mission remains the same but everything else is better,” says Algrano.

According to Algrano, these tools have caused exchanges between producers and roasters to skyrocket. In 2020, users were sending 35 messages a day, which by mid-2021 had grown to 82 messages a day.

The percentage of sample feedback given from roasters to producers also jumped by 150 per cent in Q1 of 2021. Algrano says the app has given roasters the confidence to contract producers autonomously

Other new features include Algrano’s end-to-end green sourcing planner, which allows purchases to be planned according to shipping dates, with roasters able to see the estimated time frames for contracts in real-time along with stock forecasts for warehouses.

“Save timelines for your favourite lots and farmers, highlight contracts for important clients, and have your sourcing needs mapped out in custom calendars,” says Algrano.

The platform now also offers relationship management tools in which roasters can send sample feedback straight to the source of origin with ratings and quality comments. Using this feature, buyers can also rebuy the same coffee for the next harvest, so producers are able to plan ahead for the next coffee season.

While users could already browse coffee according to country of origin, price, and volume, Algrano now allows buyers to find lots based on the name of the farm, the producers’ values, the type of impact they are making, the spoken languages, and even the level of experience they have selling directly.

Algrano has also redesigned its roasters’ dashboards to give users the full overview of contracted coffee stock availability. In a few clicks, buyers can track sample orders, the status of multiple shipments, and organise road transport direct to the roastery. The company highlights it has no hidden fees, with roasters only charged warehousing costs for what they use.

Self-described as a B2B digital supply chain ecosystem, Algrano says over the past seven years it has shipped more than 3000 tons of “relationship coffee”, or coffee based on true communication. This includes from Brazil to Denmark, from Rwanda to the United Kingdom, and more.

“Our operations team works quietly in the background, focusing on the more mundane parts of the process: import and export, quality assurance, financing and shipping,” says Algrano. “[This] leaves the core of the coffee sourcing business to those who really should have been in charge of it all along.”

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