Due to the corona crisis, Nairobi Coffee Exchange (NCE) was forced to close the physical auction room. As the auction could not fall back on a remote buying system, the sale of coffee became problematic. That is why their decision to apply KOSMOS, the real-time auction system in the cloud, was only accelerated.
Last summer, they made the switch to an online auction. We spoke to Mr. Daniel Mbithi, Executive Officer at NCE, for a first evaluation.
In the first place, he is relieved that the coffee sale can be continued smoothly. “Using KOSMOS, the Covid-19 guidelines are met without stopping the trading. Initially, buyers were a bit sceptical about the online system, but we note a tremendous increase in confidence once they are trained on how to use it. Buyers are also enthusiastic because they do not have to face the Nairobi traffic jams anymore to come to the auction.”
Mr. Mbithi explains that all parties concerned benefit from the implementation of KOSMOS. “After only a few weeks of using KOSMOS, we can already state that more participants are attracted, which increases the competitiveness. This results into higher prices for the product and a better income for the farmer! We expect the prices to improve even more once we start marketing KOSMOS outside of Kenya as well.”
Mr. Mbithi states that the online sale of coffee by means of a clock system is “a unique experience for Africa”. He concludes: “As it is also our intention to increase the international accessibility of the KOSMOS platform, we are confident that the coffee sale will grow exponentially over the years to come.”
Until recently, it was only possible to sell coffee via KOSMOS in a virtual way.
However, in the meantime the gallery in the auction room is also connected to KOSMOS, which implies that buyers can choose whether they bid for coffee remotely in the cloud, or via the physical auction room in Nairobi.
Functioning of KOSMOS
NCE imports the sales catalogue in KOSMOS, and the remote buyers log in on their standard PC to buy in real time on the clock. Stakeholders and growers can also follow the live sale in the cloud. HERE
Obviously, growers and buyers can still retrieve individual reports via the information portal. In KOSMOS, the possibilities regarding personal and general reports for the different user groups are even considerably extended in comparison with the previous system. Mr. Mbithi adds: “Thanks to the fact that buyers can print their own reports, high printing costs for NCE are saved.”
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