Theory of Change

Our platform aims to disrupt current systems of inequity, using modern technology to make markets and information more transparent, accessible and connected.

Modern agriculture has led to the consolidation of wealth, resources and trade with a handful of large farms and large buyers. Nearly 2.6 million farmers of cacao are completely shut off from trade that would provide a meaningful livelihood. Buyers want to find and trade with these small farmers. Together the Yellow Seed community is working to make that possible.

Yellow Seed believes the nature and health of relationships that exist within the supply chain are the key to expanding markets. Extensive interviews and working groups confirmed what's needed to build a successful connection: visibility, transparency and trust.

This insight led us to develop the following theory of change, designing a structure that encourages participation and the building of trade relationships. From years of listening to farmers, buyers and intermediaries, Yellow Seed has acquired a deep understanding of what the industry needs to level the playing field for smaller-scale farmers, and to scale conscious trade.

Trusted relationships are foundational to laying the groundwork for change. Open and transparent information exchange builds the type of trust required to support conscious trade, and that trust leads to more collaboration and ultimately more win-wins for everyone involved.

Yellow Seed has therefore identified the following steps for the industry to support positive change:

  1. Visibility of actors, roles and relationships in the trade system including:

  2. Origins: including farm details and story, processing details, quality and flavor profiles, pricing and logistics information.

  3. Service intermediaries: including services offered, fees and relationship to origin.

  4. Other trade actors and their relationships to origin organizations.

  5. Transparency around prices buyers pay for products and services and how it contributes to social and environmental impact at origin.

  6. Tools to build trust between farmers, buyers and intermediaries including verification, reviews, feedback loops and accountability.

  7. Collaboration of a network via a shared vision of success, channels to coordinate activities and active participation.

  8. And an open platform for collaboration and trade.

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