New Economy Network Australia Conference 2018

It was an honour to attend the recent New Economy Network Australia conference in Melbourne. The New Economy Network Australia (NENA) looks to promote ecological and social outcomes from the economic systemThe Coffee and Technology Panel looked at putting integrity back into specialty coffee and how blockchain can help

The Panel

Event organiser Nick Rose mediated the discussion. The guests were Anouk Pinchetti from the Blockchain Centre, Mike Beard the head buyer for Proud Mary and Amelia Franklin of Amelia Franklin Roasters and BeanLedger. Our own Joe Molloy represented Rumble.

Photo of Nick Rose, Amelia Franklin, Joe Molloy, Anouk Pinchetti and Mike Bear at NENA 2018

Mike outlined the buying practices of Proud Mary and how they work with individual growers year after year. By building relationships over time they help each other grow. He spoke of Nahun Fernandez in Honduras and how they commit to his coffee each year. This gives Nahun confidence he will sell his crop and allows them to experiment with different processing methods.

Joe covered our Transparency Project and why we think that disclosing prices can help coffee growers. Paying more for coffee is our goal. We want to educate coffee drinkers so they are proud to pay more for great coffee.

Amelia spoke of her history roasting Fair Trade coffee and how the realisation of its limits drove her to create Bean Ledger. One of the main goals of BeanLedger is to engage the coffee growing communities from start. Beacuse coming to producers and imposing a new system on them doesn’t work. Therefore engaging with them from the beginning, asking what they need and getting consent is how we develop a new way.

Anouk has been interested in community currency for the last twenty years and saw the possibility of Blockchain right way. He talked about the potential of blockchain and associated technologies to open up supply chains. He also brought up Holochain and how it might be a better fit than blockchain.

Blockchain uses a distributed ledger where everyone on the network can see and verify each transaction. For an overview, read A Beginner’s Guide to Blockchain by local futurist Steve Sammartino

What Happens Next ?

Last we took questions from the crowd, who after drinking lots of Rumble coffee, were eager to learn more. Because the potential for blockchain technologies to assist with transparency is enormous. We will work to see how we can use Bean Ledger in our own coffee buying.

The New Economy Network Australia Conference was a fantastic opportunity. Any chance to talk about how we can improve the coffee supply chain is welcomed. Blockchain is a fascinating technology that could solve many problems. Joe will try and help Amelia get BeanLedger up and running by being an adviser to the project.