Demystifying the coffee supply chain

Written by Luiza Furquim
on May 23, 2023

Learn what’s behind Algrano's efforts to enhance the coffee sourcing experience through its online marketplace led by Kees Olthof, our new Head of Product.

Kees is transforming Algrano's platform to make direct sourcing even easier and foster meaningful relationships between roasters and producers.

Join Kees as he discusses the product vision, from making Algrano the go-to platform for all direct sourcing needs to driving product differentiation among coffee producers.

It's about fostering these genuine connections, creating a global community where the passion for specialty coffee thrives." 

Kees Olthof AlgranoWith over ten years of experience in e-commerce, Kees joined us to take Algrano's marketplace to the next level (Photo: Anastasiia Hromova)

Sourcing Online Keeps Getting Better…

Buying coffee on Algrano got simpler this year, with a better browsing and purchasing experience.

The offer pages have been redesigned to present shipping details and quality reports more prominently.

The checkout process has been simplified, ensuring that crucial information is easily accessible.

Algrano also optimised the timing for sample review requests, giving you ample opportunity to cup before sharing your insights.

To further improve the experience, the platform now enables roasters to contract coffee in their local currency. By not relying on US dollars, they avoid currency fluctuation risks.

Green Coffee Online
The product team is creating a better browsing & purchasing experience (Photo: Algrano)

Our new Head of Product Kees Olthof summarises the vision behind the marketplace:

"Imagine a world where coffee producers can effortlessly connect with buyers, and roasters can discover the perfect beans from any producer. It's about fostering these genuine connections, creating a global community where the passion for specialty coffee thrives."

Like Your Local Farmers' Market

Kees joined Algrano earlier this year to help take the marketplace to the next level. He brings expertise in artificial intelligence and business administration plus over ten years of experience in e-commerce, launching digital initiatives for direct-to-consumer and B2B brands as well as online marketplaces. 

The e-commerce expert was drawn to Algrano's core beliefs and their impact on people. "The entire team at Algrano is focused on creating a more balanced coffee industry and making a positive impact in the world."

Coffee with impactKees was drawn to the team's drive to build a more balanced industry (Photo: Algrano)

Kees believes Algrano is uniquely positioned to help roasters and producers forge long-lasting relationships through thoughtfully crafted, impact-driven technology: 

"Algrano is much like your vibrant, local Saturday farmers' market, a place to discover great products while cultivating enduring connections. Algrano's marketplace aims to elevate this experience, bridging the gap between coffee roasters and producers worldwide," he explains.

Wakuli Coffee RoastersAlgrano elevates the e-commerce experience by fostering conversations and long-term relationships between roasters and producers (Photo: Wakuli) 

Bonds Over Beans

The idea of a market square is a key concept shaping the product's future direction. Coffee is all about relationships and, as Kees says, “Algrano is more than just a place to buy and sell”.

Traditional B2B marketplaces focus on making transactions simple. People form partnerships offline and then complete the transaction online for convenience.

"What sets Algrano apart and makes it unique is the ability to discover and build new relationships online. These connections come before any transactions."

Back when he started, Kees was struck by the strong communication between roasters and producers in the marketplace.

Over 1,300 messages were exchanged since January, and the number of reviewed samples saw a significant increase, doubling from February to March.

Relationship coffeeWhat sets Algrano apart is its unique ability to build relationships online (Photo: Algrano)

The Future: A One-Stop Shop for Direct Sourcing

Direct sourcing involves more than developing relationships. It requires accurate demand forecasting, proactive planning, and real-time visibility of warehouse inventory levels. 

Algrano's ambition is to become the go-to platform for all direct sourcing needs, giving roasters and producers control over the supply chain from purchase to doorstep delivery.

Roasters can already use the Origins Planner to schedule shipments or release coffees from the warehouse with just a click.

These are the first steps toward an integrated, streamlined platform that addresses every aspect of direct sourcing.

This is what Kees calls the “purposeful” application of technology in a business context, leveraging the speed at which information can travel today to revolutionise how roasters buy coffee.

It’s not only easier to buy from origin. It’s a more transparent and data-rich process than traditional spot coffee purchasing.

Ethical coffeeRoasters can already use the Origins Planner to schedule shipments or release coffees (Photo: Algrano)

Kees also envisions Algrano as a driving force for product differentiation among coffee producers, drawing comparisons with the wine, rum, and whiskey industries.

"In the wine world, the focus is on the vineyard. For rum and whiskey, it's all about the distillery."

By offering their coffees directly and distancing themselves from the commodities market, producers can establish a strong brand identity.

"The coffee producer becomes a recognised brand. This could be the next significant wave in the coffee industry, advancing it to a whole new level."

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