Yellow Seed streamlines coordination between farmers and buyers.

What does Yellow Seed’s beta version include?

Farmers can share their stories and products on the site and engage in conversation with buyers. Buyers can then explore, trace products back to origin and link with third party shipping contractors and other services to make the logistics around trade transactions easier. User reviews create transparency around experience in trade, farm visits or stories, product quality, and socio-environmental practices. Our Community page includes member profiles from farmers, buyers, intermediaries and others, and lists member names and company, along with skills they have and services they can provide.

Why cacao?

Cacao is a vitally important agricultural crop for over 5 million farmers living in the global tropics. These farmers grow 90% of the world’s cacao and employ more than 12 million workers. The majority of these farms are family run enterprises that apply their wages to food, healthcare and education in their local economies.

Currently many of these cacao farmers sell their products directly from their farm or to middlemen at local markets who pay the farmers less than they deserve. With few other options, farmers turn from traditional farming methods towards monoculture crops involving chemical pesticides and intensive farming methods in order to produce higher yields.

Supporting small-scale farmers is key to preserving biodiversity, providing quality food products, and improving the economic health for our global communities.

What’s next for Yellow Seed?

Interactions on this initial beta site are directly shaping the development plan and trajectory of the online platform. While we have crafted a vision of expanded features and functionality that far exceeds what is currently operational here, we will be continuing to iteratively design and test the platform throughout this beta launch, adapting to your input. Please contact us if you would like to be part of the design creation and review process.

What metrics will Yellow Seed measure?

We plan to measure impact by the number of products sold through our site, the number of farmers affected by those sales and the average price per pound of beans sold. Studies show that growth generated by agriculture is up to four times more effective in reducing poverty than growth in other sectors. The effect of farmers having access to fair markets is that their communities will receive economic benefits, including better access to education and healthcare.

We will also be keeping track of the number of hectares of land conserved, origin countries, buyer profiles, and the feedback rate (sum of comments, messages and ratings divided by reach). Every year we will do reviews with users of the site to see what was effective and what change in trade relationships happened as a result of our facilitation.

Who is Yellow Seed’s target audience?

Yellow Seed is currently testing the design of the site with producers, buyers and intermediaries who are mission aligned with improving social and environmental impact. We support responsibly grown, high quality, and ethically traded cacao. The marketplace assists buyers and chocolate makers looking for unique, speciality and sustainable products. Yellow Seed’s information commons provides a way for all actors in trade including NGO’s and social finance organizations to engage, support one another and create meaningful connections.

Where is Yellow Seed based?

Yellow Seed is a virtual team working in Boulder, Vancouver and the San Francisco Bay Area. We work with a network of service providers from around the globe.

How does Yellow Seed fund its work?

As an impact-driven nonprofit we hope to provide the space to make people, products and resources visible so that better trade can take place. We work hard to use our resources efficiently and for greatest impact. Yellow Seed is currently funded by grants and donations and is accepting additional funds towards our 501(c)3 mission. As part of our early stage testing, ensuring a diverse and sustainable financial model for long-term success is high priority.

We add a 5% service fee plus $.05 for the cost of shipping labels for products sold on the website to support our operations. We also plan to create a program whereby a percentage of product purchases will be donated to a Farmer Fund to provide origins with resources and community services as challenges arise. Donations received and profits generated are reinvested to improve the design, functionality and expansion of the platform and to support Yellow Seed’s basic operations.

Yellow Seed is fiscally sponsored by SEE (Social and Environmental Entrepreneurs), which incubates projects who are making a cultural impact by creating progressive, social, and environmental change. SEE is a registered public charity, which provides nonprofit status, making donations fully tax deductible.

How can I contribute?

Join our community and add a product, share a story or trip experience, or add a role or service offering to your profile. As you make chocolate from products on our registry please return to review and let the network and farmers know how it turned out.

Always feel free to contact us with other ideas or donate to the project.

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