From another Valley: Tech startup seedtrace launches a digital platform to turn supply chain transparency into the norm

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Photo credits: Jaś Miszewski

From another Valley: Tech startup seedtrace launches a digital platform to turn supply chain transparency into the norm

From time to time we report about “other Valleys” and today we love to report in first hand about a story from Berlin (still German Valley).

The news are: Led by CEOs Katharina Elisa Davids and Ana Selina Haberbosch, the Berlin based startup seedtrace aims at turning supply chain transparency into the norm by providing a platform that makes the social and ecological impact of consumer products both provable and visible to consumers. The Software as a Service (SaaS) company allows businesses to show the journey of their products from origin to point of sale by mapping all steps along the supply chain.

The startup recently closed its seed funding round, led by Futury VC along with angel investor Antoine Welter, SaaS Sales Expert Julius Göllner and 6 other investors including blockchain specialists and industry experts. The new funds will be used for the expansion of seedtrace’s ecosystem and the implementation of project-based supply chain tracing through blockchain technology.

“Purchasing behavior of end consumers for products within the food, cosmetics and fashion industry is increasingly driven by socio-ecological factors. The seedtrace platform offers the user transparency throughout the whole value chain of each listed product in terms of sustainability standards” says Shahin Dashti, Investment Manager of Futury VC.

A digital platform that makes supply chain transparency understandable, provable and visible

“When I worked with farms across Africa to build fair and direct trade opportunities, I realized how complex and yet unique every product’s value chain is. From wild-growing practices to outgrower schemes and cooperatives at a large scale, the locals I met are doing an incredible job in uplifting communities and creating quality products. Although consumers increasingly care, we usually know little to nothing about the social and ecological impact of our consumer choices.” says seedtrace CEO Katharina Elisa Davids.

Through the seedtrace platform, businesses can make specific impact claims about themselves, individual products or certain steps along the supply chain. These include claims like “fair payments’’, “100% recycled packaging” or “carbon neutral” which can then be confirmed either through a global network of NGOs and certifiers or by processes and financial transactions stored on the blockchain. Businesses can use the seedtrace platform to track their impact internally and simultaneously tell a compelling story to their customers with a QR code on their packaging, using a webshop integration and on social media. The platform also collects product-specific feedback and generates valuable consumer insights.

Supply chain transparency increasingly dominates consumer demand

According to a recent KPMG study, 72% of consumers in Germany buy more sustainable products in the supermarket compared to a few years ago, and 69% would pay up to 10% more for these products. However, 55% of consumers are unsure which option is the most sustainable one.* At the same time, the pressure on businesses is increasing; poor working conditions in developing countries, child labor, exploitation, low wages and enormous environmental pollution along complex global supply chains remain a major issue that sparked recent discussions on the Supply Chain Act.

The only way to bridge the gap between product origin and consumers, is to turn supply chain transparency into a unique selling proposition. Building both trust and an emotional connection on product level enables brands to increase customer loyalty and willingness to pay. At seedtrace, we believe in a reality where all actors along the chain work and scale together.” says seedtrace CEO Ana Selina Haberbosch

Proving impact from seed to shelf through Blockchain Technology

Putting the verification of fair payments into practise, seedtrace engages in a long-term partnership with Koa, an impact-focused international cocoa pulp supplier. Koa and seedtrace prove fair payments to every single smallholder on their cocoa farms in Ghana, many of whom live in remote areas with no internet or electricity. Every transaction is approved through a three-leveled process and irrevocably stored on an open blockchain. That way, proven impact becomes visible both for collaborators along the chain as well as consumers.

The seedtrace GmbH was founded in June 2020 in Berlin by Katharina Elisa Davids, Ana Selina Haberbosch, Jonathan Mandt and Florian Fischer. To learn more about seedtrace visit seedtrace.org.

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