New Transparency and Impact Features

“I’d like to see more stories of farmers and to know that my purchasing through Yellow Seed helped farmers achieve a more sustainable existence. For example, ‘your purchase of the cacao helped to create or enable positive impact or result at origin’”

~ Enna, chocolate maker

“We are always trying to figure out what more we can do. It’s complicated. Fair Trade and Rainforest Alliance do a lot to raise the floor, but not a lot to raise the ceiling. [As a speciality buyer] you’re working within thousands of complex micro-economies. You can’t just pay people more money, because then they might be sabotaged by someone down the street. You have to figure out where the ‘value added’ is for the farmer.”

~Nate, chocolate maker

Transparency Features

Building relationships on values and trust requires a fundamental shift of how we view transparency. When it comes to supply chains worldwide there is generally a hesitation to be fully transparent as it can be difficult to collect all the necessary information, and because full transparency has the potential to hurt a business's competitive edge. From the cacao community there seems to be a genuine interest in creating greater transparency and so Yellow Seed has designed a set of features to work towards these aims:

Pricing Wheel:

The pricing wheel will show full transparency of prices paid to actors and services providers along the supply chain for that specific product. It will graphically illustrate how money is distributed throughout the trade system.

Supply Chain Visualization:

The supply chain feature visualizes the journey of the product through the supply chain, showing who touches the product along the way, and the roles and services provided by each person.

Collaborative Shipping Features:

To support the development of options for buyers to collaborate on shipping, we will add features to show purchase quantity available, payment terms and how buyers can opt in to collaborate on an order with other buyers nearby. Yellow Seed will manually coordinate these orders during the pilot, to ultimately inform better tools to automate collaborative processes.

The following features are designed to support Seller's ability to aggregate orders and coordinated manually. As we learn more about buyer preferences and patterns, we can automate functionality and streamline the process.

Impact Features

For the last 6 months Yellow Seed has been working with a long list of advisors and contributors on the need for more meaningful social and environmental impact reporting. The goal of Yellow Seed’s new impact reporting features is to highlight impact in a human-based approach: this consists of letting farmers decide what impact is needed, helping them set goals and targets, and allowing buyers and other stakeholders to track how the prices they pay contribute to that impact.

The vision of a more human-centered approach to impact includes engaged participation and collaborative action towards shared vision, a crowd-verified approach and common metrics.This pilot begins to test steps toward this vision.

The new features will include:

Farmer-Directed Goals:

Using a human-centered approach, producers will play a more active leadership role and will develop their own impact goals, showing what is needed to meet those goals and how the prices buyers pay contribute to that impact. The feature will surface an indicator or set of indicators to track over a specific time period. These goals support the alignment for action of a supply network from farm to port to maker to consumer.

Impact Reports:

The pilot will feature a static impact report, including an impact story from Origin sharing experiences from the farm level as well as a visual progress graph tracking key indicators developed by the Origin. We are also exploring how the platform can support dynamic reporting pages highlighting active engagement of a network.

New Feature Objectives:

  • A better understanding of what is uniquely meaningful to farmers while deepening our knowledge of people, places, cultures and world views.

  • Receive feedback from Origins as to whether or not these features adequately represent the farmer voice and experience.

  • Receive feedback from buyers on Yellow Seed on whether these new features are helpful to the community and if the features should be applied to more Origins on the site.

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