66% of consumers are willing to pay more for sustainable products but most organizations don’t know the farmers they source from, let alone their impact. FARM-TRACE is a SaaS agtech platform which helps organizations prove their sustainability claims by connecting them with information about their products and impacts at the origin. From zero deforestation to fair farmer payments, FARM-TRACE gives companies unparalleled transparency so they can make sustainability claims with confidence.
Interview with Kahlil Baker, CEO and Founder
What we do
Much of the price we pay for agricultural products such as coffee and cacao is made up of premiums. These are created based on factors such as a product’s origin, quality and sustainability. However, organizations are missing the opportunity to access these premiums and grow their business with new sustainably minded customers because they cannot prove this information.
We are helping organizations turn sustainability into a competitive advantage by providing verified information about a product’s origin using satellite imagery, data analytics and machine learning. We are creating value at every stage of the supply chain, from empowering small-scale farmers and producers to access product premiums, to helping brands source better products and grow their business with sustainably minded consumers.
FARM-TRACE is initially working with coffee and cacao organizations:
- Helping roasters and food processors engage new and existing customers with authentic product information
- Giving roasters and food processors analytics and insights to track sustainability performance and ensure they are sourcing quality products
- Providing producer organizations with the information to improve their operations, access new product premiums with buyers and increase yields with farmers
FARM-TRACE is currently being used across thousands of farms to track farmers’ impact. This summer, our technology is being piloted with industry leaders that include:
- A global agri-food business undertaking carbon reporting across hundreds of coffee farms to meet commitments on supply chain emission reduction
- A multinational development agency automating sustainability certifications for farmers, and helping them to receive higher premiums for their products.
Five years from now…
In five years, we will be transforming the way farming into a sustainable practice all over the world. We want to set the standard for how companies source commodities such as coffee and cocoa. Our goal is to help a quarter of a million farmers achieve financial security and sustainability in their livelihoods.
Why the New Ventures BC Competition
There is an urgent need to solve sustainability issues in agriculture. It also represents an enormous commercial opportunity. We entered the NVBC competition to win (of course), get funding and gain insight on how we can accelerate the growth of FARM-TRACE. Our solution is essential to tackling many of the social and environmental issues faced by millions of small farmers producing over half the world’s food. NVBC can provide the resources we need to bring our solution to millions.
Your first influential job
I was actually a tree planter in my early 20s. I felt like I was making a difference just by planting thousands of trees. Over time, I realized that I was a small cog in the wheel because there was a real market for growing trees in Canada. To create a sustainable impact, I knew I had to establish a market to encourage people to protect and restore land in places where sustainable solutions currently don’t exist.
About the Founder
Kahlil Baker, Ph.D. | Founder and CEO
Founder and CEO Kahlil Baker, Ph.D., is a successful entrepreneur, economist and forest scientist. Before FARM-TRACE, he co-founded Taking Root: a multimillion-dollar impact-driven enterprise. He has worked with thousands of farmers, helping them adopt sustainable farming practices by connecting them to premium markets. FARM-TRACE was born out of the realization that with the right tools, millions rather than thousands of farmers could do the same thing. For his work, he was awarded the Meritorious Service Cross, one of the highest honours bestowed by the governor general of Canada, featured by the CBC as one of Canada’s next generation of change makers, and awarded the UBC Alumni Achievement Award.
Will Sheldon | Commercial Director
Commercial Director Will Sheldon, has a background in scaling technology and environmental enterprises. He previously led the marketing department at Concentra Analytics, helping to triple the size of the company. Since then, he has worked on a major forest carbon project in South East Asia with SYSTEMIQ, an international sustainability consultancy, and with Global Edge: helping regenerative agriculture start-ups to raise-funding and scale. Will is a fellow of the On Purpose Leadership Programme.
FARM-TRACE is located in Vancouver, BC.