History Mission Vision Team
"To meet someone" in the indigenous Chibcha language
Ynasu started as an idea late 2015 in Medellin, Colombia. At the time, a 50- year civil conflict was ending in the country, a conflict which had forced many farmers to grow coca plants. But with this conflict’s end in sight, cacao was seen as the ideal substitute and now symbolizes the post-conflict economy in Colombia.
After having the opportunity to meet with cacao farmers on site and hearing about the challenges of both chocolate makers and cacao producers, we noticed the missing link between farmers and buyers.
Although the world is increasingly globalized and interconnected thanks to technology, many transactions for agricultural products from smallholders are still largely conducted in an archaic trading manner: the need for intermediaries, a lack of transparency, and traceability.
We decided to build an online community where the two could connect and give them the tools to facilitate direct trade, fostering transparency and traceability of the food supply chain.
Ynasu was born.
The associations do not have the time or the marketing tools to promote their products. By creating a free profile for each of them, we hope to give them access to new markets and better opportunities.
Why do we work with associations? The overhelming majority of cacao producers around the world do not possess more than 3 or 4 hectares. By organizing themselves into non-profit associations, they are able to produce a larger quantity and provide economic and social support for their members. Small producers are also characterised by the assortment of their produce which allows autonomous sustenence, countering the usual monoculture in industrial farming which is less sustainble and hinders biodiversity.
When it comes to agricultural products, quality is one of the most challenging issues due to nature’s unpredictability. We have designed a process to minimise your risk of receiving a product that does not meet your expectations.
We offer to deliver samples to the prospective buyer, so he can assure the products correpond to his needs. Our review section allows the buyer to evaluate the product with comments and ratings, giving buyers more insight to make the right choice. Its accesibility gives producers ongoing feedback , ensuring accountability for their products’ quality.
In an increasingly globalized and interconnected world thanks to technology, we believe everybody should have access to a direct market, where buyers and suppliers can connect with each other.
Through the facilities that we are currently developing in beta, we want the buyers to be able to to order directly from the producers, bypassing unnecesary intermediaries and therefore ensuring a better price for them.
Conecting producers and buyers is not enough. That’s why we take care of all the logistics in getting the products from the farms to the buyers’ doorstep. This allows you to focus on what really matters: the product.
We want to extend Ynasu’s reach and apply what we’ve learned with cacao in Colombia to other agricultural products. The cacao bean is one of the most challenging agricultural products to manage: it is fragile, its fermentation and drying process require rigor and expertise, and pricing is volatile and impacted by speculation. Learning to handle cacao makes us believe in the potential of integrating our work with other agricultural raw materials.
We also want to encourage associations and independent producers to transform their raw materials to add value to their products, which would increase their earnings. For instance, some associations create cacao nibs to sell.
Colombia was the perfect place for Ynasu to start. It is the second most biodiverse country in the world, and with its abundance of agricultural commodities like panela, coffee, and rubber, it has a lot to gain from a fair and direct trade system that encourages sustainable development practices.
But we don’t set any limitations. We open the opportunity to any association or independent producer in any country with the right criteria of quality and professionalism to be part of Ynasu.
We do everything we can to facilitate a fair and transparent place for trading agricultural commodities by constantly proposing innovative ideas that challenge the current marketplace.
We believe in fair trade but we know it’s more than just a label. That’s why we will provide you with a full breakdown of all component costs of each transaction. All details of transactions facilitated through Ynasu, beginning with the price of the raw material, to inland transportation costs, taxes, shipping, to commission received by Ynasu will be provided.
We want users of Ynasu’s services to have the guarantee of direct and fair trade.
We want consumers to be mindful of the origins of the products they buy. Overconsumption and food waste are issues that have environmental, economic, and social repercussions.
By getting to know a little bit more about each other, understanding where the food we eat is from, and knowing the hard work put in every day to make it grow, we believe we can already make a difference through this consciousness.
Edouard passed his bar exam in 2015 after working for an international law firm in Geneva, Switzerland. He moved to Colombia with the conviction of its future potential.
Edouard has been working with farmers and chocolate makers for more than one year. To promote the national industry of cacao, he spearheaded the first National Chocolate Awards in Colombia with the support of the National Federation of Cocao as part of the 4th International Colombian Convention in 2016.
Edouard is fluent in French, Spanish and English.
After an 8-year career in law & finance in Melbourne, Australia, Karlu left a Director position at an investment bank and arrived in Colombia in 2015.
After seeing much excess around the world and blind consumption, Karlu wanted to do something that would improve the lives of those who often put in much of the effort but fail to be rewarded: the producers. Karlu is now putting his legal and finance skills to good use for a worthy cause.
Karlu is fluent in English, Cantonese, Spanish and Mandarin.
Sergio Andrés Entrena
Logistics and commercial duties are the core factors that Sergio loves to work with. After living in France and Spain, studying international commerce and working in the logistics world for cargo agencies, he returned to his native Colombia and began to develop direct operations of cocoa purchases for European buyers.
He is now committed to promoting Colombian cocoa to the world, giving back to the farmers and improving their lives as they are an essential part of the process. Sergio is fluent in Spanish, English and French.
Communications and development
United States of America
Jamie graduated from UC Berkeley in 2013 and finished her Masters in International Relations from King’s College London in 2015. Wanting to learn more about Colombia and its culture after a short visit, she decided to move to Medellín 6 months after graduation.
Her three years experience working for a San-Francisco based startup, research and journalistic experience, and interest in development and post-conflict peace building in Colombia, bring her to Ynasu.
Jamie is fluent in English and Spanish.
Sergio Enrique Ruiz Davila
Sergio graduated from the University of Magdalena with a degree in Systems Engineering. Sergio worked in UI / UX design and Front End development in both Colombia and Argentina for Latin and international companies. Sergio is a a full-stack developer (FrontEnd: Angular, Typescript, Gulp, Bower; BackEnd: Python, Django Rest, PostgreSQL).
He is now creating his own products and helping Ynasu as technical consultant.
Sergio speaks Spanish and English.