ITOCHU Announces Investment on Farmer Connect SA

March 16, 2021

ITOCHU Corporation (headquartered in Minato-ku, Tokyo; Yoshihisa Suzuki, President & COO; hereinafter “ITOCHU”) announced today that it has made an investment and formed a business alliance with Farmer Connect SA (headquartered in Switzerland; Michael Chrisment, CEO; hereinafter "FC").

Through the FARMER CONNECT initiative, FC's coffee traceability and sustainability platform which connects consumers with coffee growers, ITOCHU will work with many enterprises involved in the production, distribution and sale of coffee and many platform users to further its contribution to the advancement of the coffee industry.

FC has leveraged blockchain technology to build a system for tracking coffee from where the beans are grown, to the delivery of a cup of coffee to the consumer. Coffee drinkers can download an app to find out about the coffee they are drinking such as the cultivated environment, blend details and logistic channels, leading the supply chain transparency. Most coffee production takes place in developing countries where challenges such as improving working conditions and promoting more sustainable cultivation need to be urgently addressed. FC allows the app users to donate directly to sustainability projects in the farmers’ communities and is committed to supporting sustainable farming among farmers who are vulnerable to price volatility and exposed to changes in the farming environment as a result of climate change.  

ITOCHU has participated in the initiative as an FC Steering Committee member as a unique representative from Asia and worked to promote the initiatives since 2019. Through the initiative connecting coffee producers and coffee drinkers around the world, ITOCHU will create a safe, secure, delicious, enjoyable, and sustainable coffee culture together with the app's users. In the future, it will expand this initiative to other foods, aiming to expand the number of sustainable products it is able to support.

ITOCHU has set "Contribute to and strengthen initiatives for the SDGs" as one of the Basic Policies in its next medium-term management plan. Through these activities, ITOCHU will contribute to the development of a sustainable society.

Outline of FC

Corporate name Farmer Connect SA
Representative Michael Chrisment
Head office Chemin de Blandonnet 8, 1214 Vernier, Switzerland
Established January 28, 2019
Number of employees 13