Producers Token: Putting the Food Supply on Blockchain, Lowering Costs While Supporting Farmers

A basic fundamental of capitalism is the concept of price discovery.

Basically, all this means is finding the price point between how high demand is and how scarce the product is. High demand and scarce resource, high price. Low demand and abundant resource, low price.

In a perfect world, the negotiation of this price point is fairly seamless and organic. Unfortunately, in the real-world global economy there a whole array of middlemen and erected obstacles to the free flow of information and goods that keeps the price high and the transmission of value to the actual producers of goods low in many markets.

A case in point is the worldwide supply of food. Because of the many middlemen who stand between the consumer and the producer, farmers in many parts of the world receive as little as 8 cents on a dollar for their efforts. A huge proportion of the rest of that dollar is absorbed by people have inserted themselves between the consumer and the producer, and who add little more value than passing papers back and forth.

What if there were a better, more direct, way for people at one end of the supply chain to communicate with the folks at the other – closing the gap, bringing down prices, but simultaneously raising the amount of money those doing the real world receive.

The folks at Producer Token feel that they have found a practical, impactful use for blockchain and feel that their token will close that gap.

We got in touch with Keith Agoada, CEO and cofounder of Producers Token, and a passionate supporter of organic agriculture and farmers.

How did you come up with the idea for Producers Token?

The idea for Producers Token was developed over a six year period with one of my co-founders, Christopher Robb. I come from a background in agriculture development, procurement and distribution, and Chris from the retail and branding side.  We started brainstorming about how we could transform our industry and the value chain so that every purchase would support farmers, and bring trust and honesty to end-consumers.  We studied the concept of “loyalty” and determined that we could create a world class brand in our industry achieves fierce loyalty from consumers by focusing entirely on the concepts of transparency, integrity and authenticity.

This led to the creation of Producers Market, an open marketplace built to connect vetted agricultural producers, with vetted buyers, with the objective of eliminating inefficiencies and intermediaries to achieve value chain transparency and greater profits for producers.

How long has Producers Token been in existence/how many producers currently use the platform?

Producers Token, initially with our Producers Market platform, has been in development for over two years. We are currently testing our B2B marketplace with around 15 producer members. We’ve been in communication with 100+ serious producers globally that are eager to join our platform. We are also partnering with ‘aggregators’ that organize and sell the outputs of thousands of smaller agriculture producers in Latin America, Africa and Asia through cooperatives, associations, and other models that collect, pack and process outputs.

Can you please explain Producers Token and its other entities, including Producers Market and FarmToken?

Producers Token is the parent company LLC. The security tokens of Producers Token represents the equity ownership of the venture. Within the Producers Token portfolio are the following entities.

Producers Market is our marketing, sales and transaction platform. Initially it is a B2B marketplace but in 2019 it will also be a B2C e-commerce platform. Included in Producers Market is the Producers Market consumer packaged goods brand.

FarmToken is another venture within the Producers Token portfolio. It is the asset-backed security token platform for investments into the agriculture value chain. It will be responsible for the tokenizing, fractionalizing and distributing agriculture assets to global investors.

Producers Digital is a division within Producers Token that is responsible for the social media, design and digital technology as it relates to our Instagram, Facebook, Blog, and other related services. It functions to connect our global community of consumers to our related platforms.

What are the technologies behind these entities?

The Producers Token ecosystem is integrating a range of digital technologies and third party software API’s into our user interface designs to remove frictions and inefficiencies in the agriculture value chain. We are building much of our software and applications on React. Holochain is our distributed ledger technology partner. Our cryptographic accounting systems for decentralized contracts and transactions is being built on the Holochain platform to achieve agent-centric, super low cost buyer-seller interactions. Our platform is also building API interoperability with a range of third party blockchain applications such as Hyperledger.

Can you explain what decentralizing the agriculture industry means and why it’s important?

There is a dominance in the agricultural industry from intermediaries (wholesalers, importers, exporters, brokers, sales representatives, distributors, retailers, brands) that exist between the producer and consumer. This barrier is often around marketing, financing and communication. By limiting the producer and consumer connectivity value chain entities in the middle are often able to mark up costs, and inflate profit margins at the expense of the true stakeholders (farmers and consumers).  Decentralization of the agriculture value chain will add transparency and traceability across the supply chain with the intention to empower the farmers with greater profits through more direct and diverse transactions while providing consumers greater transparency to the source of production. Our model isn’t designed to ‘eliminate’ the groups that warehouse, distribute, and retail, but to simply regulate profit margins through more open, and efficient markets.

Can you explain what role smart contracts play in the Producers Token ecosystem?

We believe that Smart Contracts will be a critical infrastructure to integrating transactions and traceability onto distributed ledger technologies. It’s a starting point to integrate value-added innovations that can enhance value chain credibility and efficiency for forward contracts, value exchange, transaction, peer to peer financing, traceability, quality control, and sharing of data and content. In the coming months we will be revealing our smart contract platform application onto smartphones, tablets and web.

Are there any recent or upcoming partnerships in the pipeline for Producers Token?

Some of our partnerships so far include Veg Fresh (leading US produce distributor), Holochain (leading distributed ledger technology solution), Fairtrasa (leading fair trade producer distributor) and MegaFood (leading natural vitamin and nutrient company).