The new digital platform encourages consumer relationships and farmer-controlled coffee pricing.
BY EMILY JOY MENESES
SPECIAL TO BARISTA MAGAZINE ONLINE
Photos courtesy of Era of We
Based in Sweden, Era of We is an international digital platform that recently launched to connect all members of the coffee supply chain. It claims to be the world’s first “digital service” for the coffee industry—an innovative concept that allows coffee producers, facilitators, roasters, and consumers to communicate and network on a singular web-based platform. Era of We focuses on encouraging transparency and traceability within the coffee community through a number of features that connect consumer to farmer, roaster to producer, and so forth.
Era of We declares that they will empower all coffee producers to build their own brands and market directly to both roasters and consumers. By doing this, they hope to establish a more efficient and equitable supply chain where farmers can set their own prices. “We want to democratise the supply chain through transparency and collaboration,” shares Martin Löfberg, co-founder of Era of We. “By helping farmers create individual brands based on their distinct coffee properties, Era of We will help increase the overall value of coffee estates.”
Martin shares a longstanding background with his family’s roastery Löfbergs as a green buyer working with coffee farmers throughout South and Central America, East Africa, and Asia. Here, he learned firsthand some of the concerns that these producers had with the industry long-term. He thus helped develop the concept for Era of We with the goal of securing a stable future for coffee production—to help move the industry to a balanced and more income-sustainable model for farmers.
Era of We will also give roasters a range of different business opportunities. Through Era of We, roasters are encouraged to form direct relationships with coffee estates, who they hope to onboard from around the world. Some well-known estates that have already signed on include Finca San Antonio from México, Fazenda California from Brazil, and AMA Experience from Brazil (which many coffee buyers may recognize as Luiz Paulo Pereira of Fazenda IP). “To be honest, Era of We is creating a new era for the coffee,” Luiz says. “Now, it will be much more easier when people want to check the information and history of the producer, all of that will be there. I really like the idea and want to be a part of this game.”
The platform will also be a way for roasters to understand ongoing coffee estate and consumer trends, product innovations and prices, with the intention of gathering this information to help develop and grow their own brands.
Lastly, Era of We hopes to include the participation of coffee drinkers who want to get more transparency in their products, as well as learn more about the coffee itself. All members of the platform will be able to ask questions and discuss all things coffee with people around the world who share their passion on a range of topics like brewing techniques and farming practices
“People care more about their coffee than ever before, and those expectations continue to rise,” shares Erik Hedlund, CEO of Era of We. “Era of We builds that bridge for consumers and allows them to enjoy their coffee with the full knowledge of its characteristics and attributes. We see the coffee industry evolving in a manner parallel to that of the wine industry—where consumers seek out the coffee of specific estates for their characteristics, pedigree, and process.”
Era of We launched in June in Sweden, and the platform will soon spread to other regions of the world. Löfbergs is one of the first major coffee roasters on the platform. Roasters can be a part of the website through a monthly subscription, and other participants can join for free. Check out Era of We’s website to get involved.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Based in Los Angeles, Emily Joy Meneses (she/her) is a writer and musician passionate about culture and collective care. You can regularly find her at Echo Park Lake, drinking a cortado and journaling about astrology, art, Animal Crossing, and her dreams. Explore her poetry, short stories, and soundscapes on her website.