What We Hope to Learn by Facilitating the Trade

“Our problem is knowing how to reach those people who are looking for us. People need to know we are here and we have a product they are looking for.”APECMU cooperative

Alongside testing new transparency and impact features, Yellow Seed will facilitate the import of 6MT of cacao from the selected Origin into the U.S. in order to:

  • Learn how to improve the trade system on Yellow Seed for everyone.

  • Create process for aggregation of orders to support supply chain efficiency and test steps towards collaborative orders.

  • Improve access to fair markets for new and emerging origins through building trusted relationships with service intermediaries and buyers.

  • Develop new trade relationships with value-aligned buyers, expanding outside the speciality and craft markets.

  • Test business model viability,determining whether the facilitation of goods and/or services as a service is useful to the community and could be scaled to assist more farms and buyers.

Some of the particular pieces that Yellow Seed will be testing and learning from include:

Assessment and On-boarding:

To select the origin for the pilot, Yellow Seed will go through an assessment process to determine fit and viability to reach markets. If successful this process can be incorporated more formally into the Yellow Seed platform and criteria required by Sellers to help others determine viability to connect to unknown or newer origins.

Market Positioning:

To determine an appropriate match, Yellow Seed will assess the origin’s story, impact and quality to better understand what part of the market might be a good fit. The purpose of developing the assessment into a process, and making that process visible, is to support matchmaking as a whole for other communities on the Yellow Seed Platform. For example, some origins may be better suited for craft or specialty buyers, some for sustainability brands and others for bulk buyers. By understanding values and goals, we hope to better link buyers and sellers based on what they value.


Yellow Seed will pilot various storytelling approaches to reach buyers, funders and a general audience. This includes facilitation of origin-created impact story, the story around approach and the involvement of Yellow Seed, challenges in the supply chain and what is unique about the origin to a target audience.

Marketing and Outreach:

In addition to the new origin and product profiles, Yellow Seed will uniquely market this origin to target buyers via direct email and outreach, social media, the Yellow Seed newsletter and press to better understand which channels are most effective for Origins.

Collaborative Shipping:

Reducing costs of shipping and barriers for entry for smaller buyers requires understanding of buyer preferences, demand and locations. By engaging directly with buyers, Yellow Seed aims to improve purchase functionality and coordination processes that are necessary for buyers to share in the risks and rewards of joint purchases.

Connection to Service Intermediaries:

To support matching with buyers, many service intermediaries provide value in understanding quality and price as well as logistic services. Origins on Yellow Seed have requested more support in finding the right people to service their needs.

Buyers and markets rely on trusted third-party service providers in order to validate and verify price, quality and information on the profile. Yellow Seed will facilitate trade transactions by working with service intermediaries to coordinate export, import and warehousing based on needs of the Origin.

In order to create more supportive channels for origins to request and access the support they need, as they need it, this effort aims to surface a preliminary process to solicit proposals for services based on origin needs and requests.

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