Groceries spend weeks on the road, overcome hundreds and thousands of kilometers to get to the final buyer. Smallholder farmers are forced to sell their crops for nothing to resellers and large chains instead of distributing products to locals. Blockchain systems can connect local farmers and end-users, restoring the local economy.
Each day groceries get more and more expensive for no visible reason – even the most popular and bulk products, the contents of which we can only imagine. Not to mention the products with “eco” and “natural” labels which are no longer the signs of organic food, but rather the signs of food that is unjustly expensive. That being said, people who plant and make products with their own hands get only 15% of the final cost: it grows because of the delivery, advertising and markup. Then is not it easier to get the food to the table straight from the farms nearby without going through the markets? This concept is called “farm-to-fork”. Unfortunately, it has several problems, but we know how to solve them, and we are going to explain it to you.
The problem consists in lack of communication between the farmer and the customer. The corporations subjugate the farmers in fair and unfair ways. Small-scale farmers and gardeners have to promote themselves by their own means, in most cases devoting disproportionally large efforts. Prices of farmer products depend on their quality and demand.
Large transnational agricultural companies and holdings use long supply chains, which makes the products depend on the prices of oil and gas. This just makes the quality of the products worse and involves using chemicals and additives to keep their “marketability”. We do not set ourselves a mission to fight against international corporations and we do not go up against the process of globalization. We believe that all of the above are the attributes of the current moment of development of our civilization. However, we know how to restore justice and give an opportunity to consume high quality and healthy food products.
Social currency may be able to restore local economies, help the farmers, and motivate people to buy their products, as well as participate in the growing, gathering and supply processes.
Social currency is a fairly new concept, also known as “alternative”, “parallel” or “community currency”. There is no exact definition of this idea, but it opposes traditional fiat currencies and is used to match non-demanded resources and unsatisfied needs, thus creating a local alternative cycle of value.
There are several reasons for building up an alternative to traditional payments. The official currencies will grow in price as long as they are used or due to their deficit, directly or indirectly leading to the system crisis. In addition, 97% of all financial operations in traditional currencies are speculative.
Social currencies do not have this problem. Their main pros consist in possibility to use them in real exchange only, and in their independence from official and other social currencies, therefore from oil and gas. In 2015, Anna Maria Rivero Santos, a student of Sorbonne supervised by Professor Bernard Lieter, an economist who participated in the development of the euro concept, did a research on social currencies and their potential, particularly in food and agricultural industries. The work provides the study of the turnover of the social currency, which was issued for work or assistance in orchards and agricultural lands in two regions of Austria and Spain. Surveys and observations showed that social currencies accelerate the growth and development of local enterprises and help participants to save money while buying fresh products grown nearby. Community becomes independent of external factors, does not need logistical systems and does not suffer even in case of a surplus.
Of course, social currencies are not perfect. They have 3 main issues: the inertia of human conscience, distrust as a consequence (nobody wants to work for pieces of paper) and legislation.
Possible solution is to link social currencies to blockchain technology. Blockchain is a strong system based on total distrust, and backed up by computation power instead of gold standard. Most of the governments have not developed any regulations yet, but in the near future, things might change, as the authorities would not want to share their monopoly to “print” money.
Governments would not support farmers instead of corporations they are sponsored by.
Driven by the idea of helping farmers and customers to connect, Gregory Arzumanian and Mark Meytin created 1000Ecofarms platform
. 1000Ecofarms is a self-consistent and independent food market – but now not the only one. Frequent interest of their users to implement a tool that would accept bitcoin as a payment on the platform, gave them the first impulse. Having weighed all the pros and cons, in the spring of 2017, together with Coinpayments, they have implemented bitcoin, as well as ether and litecoin, as payment currencies on the site.
“This step opened our eyes on all of the incredible opportunities that could be fulfilled with the help of blockchain technologies. And even though they haven’t reached the pick of their development yet, we can already contribute to the general progress. Now that the blockchain technologies are tangible and understandable, they can be used for the most basic human need – need in food. And in this case we consider food not just as the products themselves but also as the business connected to them, social responsibility and charity.
That is why we developed the concept of FoodCoin (FdC), blockchain add-ins for the 1000Ecofarms platform. This is a unique project which combines the newest and the most reliable technologies at the confluence of foodtech and fintech. But the main thing is that it unites people! We can already see the near future where you can pay with our foodcoins in cafes, use them as social currency in certain communities and organize charity events to support farmers and starving people all over the world using them”.
“FoodCoin (FdC) can take on the job of a social currency, - Gregory Arzumanian believes. – Our main goal is to create a global understandable and secure ecosystem for agricultural and food businesses that makes it possible to save a lot of money on the expenses related to production, sales and logistics of food products. Now there will be no catch in buying and selling food!”
As a result, implementation of a social currency, – or even better a social cryptocurrency – can revive local economy, not only in Spain or Austria but also all over the world. Successful examples of using blockchain technology in real sector of economy have been already built up. The main difficulty is the cost of blockchain implementation.
However, you do not have to invent your own currency or hire IT specialists for technical support. You can use FoodCoin (FdC) as a tool for your business, your farm, just for buying food or participating in social projects. By the way, FoodCoin is on presale! It had a really successful start. More than a thousand people have participated during the first day. You can contribute to this project right now.