Shaping the Future of Digital Traceability in Coffee “Towards A More Transparent Farm-To-Cup Digital Economy”

LONDON, United Kingdom – World Coffee Alliance (WCA), a leading network alliance of coffee industry professionals producing critical insights including market research, due diligence reports and technical advice to stakeholders in the coffee value chain will hold a Zoom virtual event WCA CROSS TALK SERIES: SHAPING THE FUTURE OF DIGITAL TRACEABILITY IN COFFEE “Towards a more transparent farm-to-cup digital economy” on Wednesday 27 October 2021 at 3:00-5:30 pm BST (UK time) / 10:00 am-12:30 EDT.

Joseph de Villiers, CEO and Founder of World Coffee Alliance (WCA) said, “As many countries are coming out of Covid, the pandemic has tested the resilience of almost all of the global systems including the coffee supply chain. This virtual event will explore some traceability challenges in coffee, and hopefully provide some answers through honest and meaningful conversation among panel members”.

“We welcome OPTEL as our Episode sponsor for this virtual event and I think it is important for them to be able to provide some clarity and insights on how an intelligent supply chain might hold the key in responding to these challenges in traceability to achieve SDGs”, he further said.

OPTEL Group is the Episode Sponsor for this virtual event. Louis Roy, President and CEO of OPTEL Group, will deliver the Inspirational Talk. Based in Quebec, Canada, OPTEL Group is a leading global supplier of track-and-trace technologies and provides a growing number of industries, including the coffee industry, with innovative digital traceability solutions and vision systems to achieve regulatory compliance, improve operational efficiency and ultimately create the Intelligent Supply Chain. Roy stated “We are delighted to support the WCA in providing a neutral platform to discuss traceability challenges in coffee, and I am confident that we will be able to shed some light on how to tackle them.”

“I lead OPTEL to be the global leader in digital traceability and to influence new, ecologically and socially responsible behavior among citizens, corporations and public institutions. I am delighted to share my thoughts about how we can achieve these goals together,” he said. Roy is also a regular contributor to the World Economic Forum (WEF).

Enveritas and Sustainable Harvest are the Event partners.

David Browning, CEO, of Enveritas will be the Keynote. Enveritas has reengineered sustainability verification to address issues that have plagued the coffee industry for decades, by dramatically reducing the cost to the roaster, making the service free for farmers, and simultaneously increasing the rigor and quality of inspection. Browning will discuss some of the latest artificial intelligence (AI) innovations that Enveritas has developed in recent months. “Accurate deforestation detection and measurement of land use change has become more important than ever given the groundswell of momentum in the coffee industry to reduce carbon emissions and protect ecosystems and biodiversity,” Browning said.

“I am truly delighted to have been invited by the World Coffee Alliance (WCA) as their Keynote for this very timely and important event to share with stakeholders how cutting-edge technology can support transparency and traceability in the coffee value chain,” he added.

Kellem Agnew Emanuele, Chief Impact Officer, Sustainable Harvest, said, “In 1997 Sustainable Harvest pioneered the “Relationship Coffee” model to disrupt opaque, commodity-driven trade. Since that time, we have connected more than 200,000 smallholder coffee farmers with buyers who share our commitment to business relationships that value inclusive growth and environmental sustainability. I am delighted to join WCA CROSS TALK SERIES as a panel speaker to collaboratively explore how the industry can accelerate transparency and traceability to achieve meaningful change.”

Tomoko Yokoi of IMD is the Panel One moderator. Having worked in Fortune 500 companies and fast-growing software ventures, she understands the unique digital challenges faced by both large organizations and digital upstarts needing to scale. Panel One confirmed speakers include Arthur Karuletwa, is a social entrepreneur passionate about poverty reduction initiatives through coffee and other agricultural commodities, Carolina Castaneda of FNC, who has vast experience in international cooperation with over 20 environmental, productive and social projects in Colombian coffee communities impacting over 30 thousand farmers and their families, Matt Daks, is the Director of Trade and Business Development for Volcafe Specialty, one of the oldest and largest coffee trade houses in the world and also President of the Pacific Coast Coffee Association and sits on the Board of Directors for the Coffee Coalition for Racial Equity, and Deepak Kaul, Senior Vice President of the coffee division at Olam Food Ingredients (OFI) and Head of the EMENA region is responsible for all sourcing and marketing operations in Europe, Africa and India – a veteran of the coffee industry who has spent 21 years in the business in various roles from origination, marketing, trading and book running. Louis Roy, President and CEO, Optel Group will be joining Panel One.

The Second panel will be moderated by Dr Sarah Tischer who has been with Neumann Kaffee Gruppe since 2016. She has built up the group-wide compliance management system with an emphasis on knowledge sharing through training, risk analyses, due diligence & complaints mechanisms. Confirmed Panel Two speakers include Darrin Daniel who began his career in specialty coffee in the ’80s and the Executive Director for both non-profits, the Alliance for Coffee Excellence and Cup of Excellence, Stephen Vick who had the opportunity to participate as an International Jury member for the Cup of Excellence (COE) in 2006, and also works today as a Head Judge for COE, is the procurement and quality manager at African Coffee Roasters, Koen Sneyers, who worked over the last 11 years on various agricultural smallholder initiatives in Uganda and now a consultant at Impact Lines, and Kellem Emanuele, Chief Impact Officer, who leads Sustainable Harvest’s commitment to accelerate economic opportunity, climate resilience, and equity & inclusion. Prior to joining Sustainable Harvest, Kellem served as the Executive Director of the International Women’s Coffee Alliance (IWCA).

“This event, which is the last of the series this year, will explore some of the basic questions including, where we are now in terms of traceability and where are we heading, what is the meaning of trust and how do you build them among the actors in the coffee supply chain, how do they preserve the integrity of data in their custody and can transparency through traceability be an alternative to certifications”, de Villiers added.


World Coffee Alliance is a network alliance of coffee industry professionals providing critical insights including market research, due diligence reports and technical advice in the global coffee value chain. Our mission is to help create a sustainable business environment, by working closely with the stakeholders in the coffee industry by advising them on how to adopt best practices, utilize cutting-edge technology and help build a community that can tackle climate change.


OPTEL Group is a leading global supplier of track-and-trace technologies and provides a growing number of industries, including the coffee industry, with innovative digital traceability solutions and vision systems to achieve regulatory compliance, improve operational efficiency and ultimately create the Intelligent Supply Chain.


Enveritas is a 501©(3) non-profit based in the US that conducts sustainability verification on global supply chains for multinational food companies. Enveritas has successfully addressed verification issues that have plagued small-holder supply chains for decades, by dramatically reducing the cost of assessment while simultaneously increasing the rigour and quality of inspection. It has done so by leveraging advances in mobile computing, machine learning, and satellite imagery over the past 5 years.

Sustainable Harvest sources and imports specialty coffees from the finest producers around the world. We create transparent and sustainable supply relationships, investing in training for farmers and ensuring that coffee arrives reliably in its highest quality state to roasters. As pioneer of the Relationship Coffee Model, we have led the paradigm shift that has served as the foundation for the direct trade model and the interest in creating a closer connection between farmers and consumers.

For media enquiries, please contact:
Mavis Qu, Co-Founder
World Coffee Alliance (WCA)
[email protected]