Trading in 2021: transparent, sustainable and direct
OpenCommodities has set its heart on commodity transactions throughout the chain. The company aims to use digital platforms to simplify those transactions and, above all, make them more transparent. The first platform, ‘OpenDairy’, was launched after an extensive pilot phase at the end of April 2021. OpenCommodities joined Foodvalley, Innovation field Circular Agrifood, on May 1st, 2021.
The food & agri chain has so many links that the profit margins are small. A more substantial part of the profits should rightfully go to the farmer, according to OpenCommodities. Sellers and buyers can meet up on the OpenCommodities marketplace and trade while cutting out the middleman. The marketplace also connects other parts of the chain, such as finance and logistics.
Dairy as a starting point
The founders of OpenCommodities are Hans Caspers, Martijn Goedhart and Henk de Weijer. Martijn: “Henk and I have been in the dairy trade for ten years, so dairy was a good starting point. OpenDairy is our first OpenCommodities platform. We’re focussing on the residual streams for now, like milk that can’t be sold locally and has to be marketed as milk powder. OpenCommodities is based on blockchain technology. That inspires trust, and ensures a transparent and efficient process. Think of us as a freelancer who is hired by the seller. You only pay for our services when you actually use them. That’s an important issue when it comes to dairy products, as production fluctuates with the seasons.”
Transparency in the chain
At the moment, sellers usually do not know how the profit margins are divvied up, nor do they know where their products end up and how they get there. “We are aiming for sustainability, that’s why we want to show the size of the footprint and try to reduce it. Is it really necessary to move products to the other side of the world in smoke-spewing container ships, or is there another way? And the seller gets to see the whole picture too: where the milk was produced and how the animals are treated, for instance”, Martijn continues.
Adding other commodities
‘Head of Tech’ Hans Caspers: “When it comes to sustainability, there is still a lot to discover, to learn, and to gain. By joining Foodvalley we expect to get in touch with companies that will work with us in order to reach the next level. And besides, we don’t plan to stop at dairy products. As soon as this platform is running smoothly, we can expand to other commodities. These may be non-dairy proteins, but they can also be other kinds of commodities altogether. For us, OpenCommodities is really open. We love to exchange knowledge, but we’re also open to new themes for our platforms.”
Hans Caspers, firstname.lastname@example.org