Demetria launches AI-based agtech solution to boost growth of high value coffee
Demetria, the first AI-powered taste and quality intelligence SaaS startup for the coffee supply chain, has unveiled a working application that identifies the successful reproduction of high value coffee seedlings. Demetria has entered into a commercial agreement with Nespresso to deploy this solution having conducted a pilot, enabling the coffee brand to enhance operational capacity and efficiency by providing high quality coffee plants to farmers.
Spearheading the transformation of the coffee industry, Demetria empowers producers and roasters with first-of-its-kind insights utilising near infra-red sensor technology and AI-driven data intelligence. The company is launching a suite of SaaS-based solutions to deliver taste assessment and profiling of green coffee beans as well as swift, accurate quality measurement and traceability throughout the supply chain.
As part of Nespresso’s work to bring high quality sustainable coffee to its discerning customers, the brand continually develops new coffee varieties through grafting of coffee tree seedlings, a horticultural technique used to join two plants so they grow as a single plant. To date, Nespresso relied on the experience of a few trained experts to manually examine the seedling to detect if the grafting process was successful and the plant was viable.
Demetria applies its handheld sensor technology and machine-learning models to enable Nespresso’s operational teams to measure and classify grafted stems of specific coffee tree seedlings with the same precision as a highly trained expert. During the pilot, Demetria’s application was used to classify over 240,000 seedlings in a three-month period that have since been supplied to Nespresso’s selected network of farmers in Colombia.
The technology provides Nespresso the ability to greatly amplify operational capacity and efficiency while achieving process consistency given the automated measurement and classification of coffee plants. The outcome of this joint process will provide coffee farmers across Colombia with high-quality grafted plants, contributing to their productivity and livelihoods.
“Demetria was able to understand, design, develop and deploy a solution to meet our needs in the field in a very tight timeframe”, says Santiago Arango, green coffee project manager, Nestlé Nespresso. “This work is an introduction to our long term plans with Demetria. We are embarking on applying their pioneering technology to build a suite of applications that will allow our network of farmers to accurately measure and manage their post-harvest processes for the first time, in order to consistently produce optimal coffee quality.”
“Demetria leverages technological innovation to create shared value across the coffee supply chain with a particular emphasis on positively impacting the livelihoods for the crop’s smallholders,” says Demetria’s co-founder and CEO Felipe Ayerbe. “We’re delighted to be working with Nespresso at such an early stage in our company’s growth and we hope this application is just one of many high value use cases we can provide, bringing a new level of efficiency to a critical stage of coffee production while minimizing the cost of failure for both the roaster and the farmer.”
Demetria recently emerged from stealth and announced a seed funding round led by LatAm-Israeli investor Celeritas and a group of private investors including Mercantil Colpatria, the investment branch of Grupo Colpatria, a leading player in the Colombian financial sector.