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Koltiva: Beyond traceability in the US$75.6B global supply chain management game

Published on August 7, 2023

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In a recent episode of Indonesia Digital Deconstructed, Leighton Cosseboom of AC Ventures sat down with Manfred Borer, Co-founder and CEO of Indonesia-based Koltiva, an agritech startup revolutionizing the way we understand supply chains. The pair took an insightful look into this multi-billion-dollar global industry, a lesser-known yet fast-growing sector in the tech space.

Reports indicate the global supply chain management market was valued at US$27.2 billion in 2022 and is projected to reach US$75.6 billion in 2032, continuing to grow at a CAGR of 10.9% through 2032.

Founded in 2013 as an agritech startup, Koltiva soon transformed into a “triple tech” company, explained Manfred, by integrating fintech features in 2021 and later incorporating a climate aspect in 2022. Operating both online and offline, the platform fosters the cultivation of eco-friendly, traceable global supply chains. As part of Koltiva’s unique offering, the company provides what Manfred refers to as ‘boots on the ground’ – a network of several hundred field agents who play a critical role when it comes to visiting and evaluating farms in person.

In the realm of traceability, Koltiva is breaking new ground. By developing software solutions that provide seed-to-table traceability, the company ensures that the journey from input materials, through farm operations and distribution, to the final consumer is transparent. This innovative solution helps large multinationals and enterprises trace the origin of their goods’ core components, many of which are produced by smallholder farmers in Indonesia.

The demand for Koltiva’s services has been immense, exceeding its current supply capabilities. However, Manfred and his team are ramping up to meet this need. Offering a unique solution as a single company covering all aspects from farm to downstream market, Koltiva stands out in the global marketplace.

Its scope is amplified by the stringent ESG-oriented regulatory landscape that many European, American, and other Western companies are required to adhere to. These regulations have led to over 50,000 Europe-based firms potentially needing Koltiva’s services folded into their operations.

Further, the platform is crucial for multinational and local companies aiming to comply with the European ‘no-deforestation’ regulation. This has made Koltiva a crucial player in major industries such as cocoa, coffee, rubber, and palm oil.

Koltiva is more than just a service provider; it is also an enabler. The company provides an ecosystem mobile application facilitating a wide array of activities such as registering farmers, tracking transactions and logistics, and measuring on-farm greenhouse gas emissions.

Despite being based in Indonesia, Koltiva’s footprint is truly global. The company serves over 1 million producers across 52 countries, with about 49% of the farmers based in Indonesia. The remaining are scattered globally in Ecuador, Colombia, Peru, Brazil, Mexico, the Ivory Coast, Nigeria, Tanzania, Kenya, the Democratic Republic of Congo, India, Pakistan, and China.

In addition to its Indonesian headquarters, Koltiva operates offices in Vietnam, Mexico, and the Ivory Coast, and has recently expanded its operations to moderate-temperature countries including the US, UK, France, Switzerland, and Germany.

At its core, Koltiva believes in creating prosperity for smallholder farmers. This is evident in industries such as cocoa, with a premium market for quality and certification. Farmers are incentivized with cash premiums, training, and coaching, emphasizing the importance of added value in their work.

“Traceability is not just about compliance; it’s about bettering the livelihoods of smallholder farmers,” said Manfred. “At Koltiva, we believe in creating an ecosystem that not only caters to global brands but also adds value to the grassroots level of the supply chain. We are striving to build an environment where the sustainable and transparent exchange of goods becomes the norm, not the exception.”

Looking ahead, the company aims to turn profitable within the next 12 to 20 months. As it stands, more than a million smallholder farmers and 6,500 businesses are registered in its system, proving the existing and imminent demand for Koltiva’s innovative solutions.

As businesses increasingly prioritize sustainable practices, Koltiva is set to play a significant role in the world of traceable supply chains. By ensuring compliance with ESG regulations and promoting prosperity among smallholder farmers, Koltiva exemplifies the potential of new tech in redefining traditional industries.

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