As one of the first new endeavours Edgeryders is contributing to in 2017, yesterday we launched a marketplace with six smallholder farmers from upper Gorkha, Nepal, selling their coffee beans to European customers. (The marketplace is epelia.com, and for more information see the official project blog.)
The idea is to pioneer “globalization done right”: leaving out trade middlemen creates a novel, P2P way of economic development. No donations needed, just paying normal market prices while farmers (in this case here) will get more than double for their coffee beans. For them, coffee suddenly becomes an economic opportunity. “Our” six farmers explain a bit more about their current difficulties with coffee farming in this beautiful mini documentary that Eva, Matjaz and @Dipti_Sherchan shot for this project in Hansapur in early December:
Edgeryders LbG funded the setup of this first “direct trade hub” in Hansapur, Nepal, and that’s why there is “Edgeryders powered” coffee now If anyone here wants to try their hands on the product packaging for this, you are very welcome. Here’s the list of must-have and nice-to-have requirements (off the top of my head, might change a bit lateron still):
- Style: just like the video, the charme of this product is its down-to-earth simplicity and authenticity. So, no high-gloss expensive packaging of course.
- Packaging material: A brown food-grade paper bag as used for grains etc. is our preferred backaging option for now. Eco-friendly, down-to-earth and cheap. (Green coffee beans do not need anything more fancy: no vacuum packaging etc. since the coffee is not roasted yet, so no aroma to deteriorate by oxygen contact.)
- Label: The bag would get a sticker applied to it – which would be the main part to be designed (apart from selecting the exact bag and designing ways to close it etc. of course, if you like to dive into this).
- The "brand" is always the name of the farmer, as seen in the shop names on epelia.com. So we have six different brands. If the label could be made in a way that (say) 4 of them are delivered on an A4 sheet and we can print in the different "brand names" by running these sheets through a black-and-white laser printer, it would be perfect. Means, if all the parts that differ between different sellers are black and white, it would be perfect.
- Logos: The farmers are the ones selling this (it's "their product"), so both the Fairdirect and Edgeryders organizations can "only" appear in a supporter / enabler role on the label, not as manufacturer. For example, put both their labels somewhere with a "Brought to you by:" or "Supporting organizations:" line or similar.
- There is a "Product Fairness Level" indicator that is a main part of this sales system. It's (for now) always the second product photo (for example here). That kind of thing incl. the QR code should be part of the label, but it may be redesigned.
- The usual, legally required product information on the label is:
- Contents: 500 g
- Ingredients: coffee beans (unroasted)
- Best before: [some free space for printing a date with the laser printer]
All that said, please don’t feel restricted by the above. Outlandish proposals and ideas are very welcome