Our private, permissioned, blockchain-enabled marketplace is the go-to venue to trade and commercialise rice
Rice trading is an opaque, complex and extremely process-intensive business. Key stakeholders in the rice trade value chain have grown accustomed to these onerous mechanisms and have, over time, simply accepted their impact on price and margin as a 'cost of business'. However, stakeholders do not have to be beholden to this costly and inefficient status quo.
Indeed, a number of trading market places (real estate funds, securities) are successfully turning to blockchain as a means to optimise their ecosystem efficiency, transparency and trading hygiene.
Blockchain's technology affords benefits that directly address the inherent inefficiencies of the rice market: vast document processing requirements with costly delays and human error; frequent contractual disputes arising from multiple interpretations of clauses, further harming business, or in effect killing the deal.
Blockchain's DNA, whereby each block is built on its predecessor, and validated by community consensus, eradicates any subjective manipulation of a trade, and creates an unmistakable audit trail at every step.
Over time, we expect Rice Exchange to dominate intra-country trading as well – here China and India are the two largest potential markets.
Unlike other major grain crops, rice has a wide variety of types and finishes, which makes pricing a lot less homogeneous. Given these intricacies, rice trading has traditionally been – and still is - managed by a relatively small group of individuals with little transparency.
Growth in international trade of milled rice*
Documents need to be checked and matched manually which is not only expensive but also means the possibility of costly human mistakes.
Documents physically travel the world with loss of time and risk of loss of documents.
It is difficult for market participants to establish whether a buyer or seller has a clean track record for fulfilling contractual obligations.
The parties involved do not have a full, transparent view of the rice market.
The Rice Exchange digital platform brings transparency, efficiency and security to the global rice trade. Sustainability is at the heart of what we do. The functionality of the Rice Exchange platform allows buyers to search for rice producers that have been awarded verifiable sustainable certifications. This gives rice buyers the certainty that they are purchasing sustainably produced rice. In turn this allows sustainable producers to charge a premium for their product.
Rice Exchange is a member of the Sustainable Rice Platform (SRP) and works with it to raise the profile of sustainably produced rice. The SRP was convened in 2011 by the UN Environment Programme and the International Rice Research Institute, together with partners from public and private sectors and civil society groups to create a standard for sustainably-produced rice. To find our more about how Rice Exchange helps its users to meet their sustainability and development objectives read our Sustainability & Social Impact Primer.
Stephen is an experienced entrepreneur and angel investor with interests in agriculture and renewable energy. He is passionate about investing in technology that has been developed in, or, can be applied to developing countries. Stephen, who is an Oxford-trained economist, started his career in finance with a focus on emerging markets. In 2004 he founded a venture capital firm in Shanghai focused on clean energy and made two successful IPO exits (Renesola) on the London Stock Exchange and NASDAQ. Stephen became interested in the global rice trade when assessing the cost of importing rice into Nigeria.LinkedIn
Frank designed the Rice Exchange platform drawing on his 32-year career trading rice on international markets. Frank was managing director at the world's leading rice brokerage, Schepens and Co in Antwerp, and then a founding member of Novel Commodities, a leading Geneva-based rice trading firm. Frank has an extensive network in the global rice business and maintains buy and sell-side relationships in Central America, Africa, Europe, South America and the Middle East, as well as supply contacts in Vietnam, Pakistan, India, Myanmar, Thailand, China, the US and South America. He graduated from Antwerp University in Marketing and Distribution.LinkedIn
Christian manages the marketing division at Rice Exchange a role he previously performed at the agrochemicals divisions of Bayer and BASF where he was a rice expert. His work with rice development projects has taken him to almost every rice-producing country in the world. Multiple visits to farming communities and research facilities have given him a deep understanding of rice production. After ten years in the agrochemicals business, Christian became marketing director for Henkel and Japan country manager for German furniture brand hülsta. He set up and managed boutique consulting firm Aventa, which provides services for international and Japanese corporations. Christian has invested in two startups and a social media venture. He represents the World Innovations Forum in Japan. He speaks Japanese.LinkedIn
Adolfo works with Frank to bring transparency, security, liquidity and price discovery to the Rice Exchange platform. Adolfo has had a 25-year career in capital markets in both trading and wealth management. He is currently a director of boutique investment bank and wealth manager Checkpoint Partners. He was previously a director at UBS Wealth Management in Panama. Prior to this Adolfo held capital markets roles with Banco Santander and ING Barings developing new businesses in equities, fixed income and foreign exchange markets. Whilst at Banco Santander he managed the bank's brokerage firm and stock exchange seat in Colombia and was a board member of the Medellin stock exchange. Adolfo has a degree in Industrial Engineering from Universidad de Los Andes, Bogotà and a MBA from INALDE, Bogotà.LinkedIn
Mark has been in banking for 15 years with a focus on emerging markets. He joined Rice Exchange from Standard Chartered Bank where, as Head of Global Banking Client Intelligence, he was responsible for introducing innovative technologies to drive sales productivity. He also chaired the Programme Committee for Standard Chartered's Seeing is Believing Programme, which oversees the investment and monitoring of funds raised under the Bank's $100m global fundraising campaign to tackle avoidable blindness. At Rice Exchange, Mark develops partnerships with financial services organisations, including banks, financial services platforms, and insurance companies to deliver efficiencies and benefits to the company's customers and partners. He graduated from Oxford University with a degree in China Studies and also holds a MBA in Finance from the Wharton School.LinkedIn
Rice Exchange serves diverse groups across the globe so Rue is telling the Rice Exchange story to users and beneficiaries from Nepal to Peru, from rice paddy to rice bowl. Rue's background is in equity research (ING Barings, Banco Santander), due diligence, risk and project management. She was involved in the NYSE listings of Colombian companies during the 1990s and promoted AIM-listed renewable energy companies from 2007 to 2012. Rue holds graduate and master's degrees in Latin American Studies from the universities of Liverpool and London.LinkedIn
In addition to managing the Customer Success team Rodolpho oversees onboarding and training on the Rice Exchange platform. As a veteran of online shopping site eBay and Disney Brasil Rodolpho has a wealth of experience in digital platforms and customer success. Rodolpho played a key role in launching eBay (originally Mercado Livre) in Brasil in 2000 and has held management roles at Royal Bank of Canada and Deutsche Bank. He is a passionate believer in sustainable technologies and has experience in fresh and wastewater treatment, solid residue solutions, automobile emissions reduction, second-generation ethanol. Rodolpho holds a degree in Business Administration from the University of Sussex in the United Kingdom. He is a native Portuguese speaker and is in fluent in English. Rodolpho is based in Sao Paulo, Brasil.LinkedIn
Jacobo has twenty years’ experience in international sales and business development. He was an account manager at global content provider The Wordfolio with responsibility for Greece, Poland, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sudan, Angola, Benin and Nigeria. Jacobo holds a degree in economics from Universidad Complutense in Madrid. In addition to his native Spanish Jacobo speaks English, Italian and Portuguese. Jacobo manages Rice Exchange’s social media channels.LinkedIn
Farid has worked as a rice buyer for commodities firm Difezi and as business developer for Winch Energy in Benin. At Rice Exchange Farid is responsible for business development across Africa. Farid speaks English and French and holds an MBA from Bentley University in the United States.LinkedIn
Luis Miguel's experience is in administration and construction. He started in the Teka Group in 2002 in the Research and Development department before founding his own construction companies in Spain and Panama, where he oversaw the construction of hospitals. He is very familiar with Latin American markets. Luis has lived in Tanzania where he ran a small hotel. He is a keen surfer and established one of the first surf schools in Spain in 1992.LinkedIn
Alade Hakeem, is a Nigerian born into the royal family of Aladenoye in Ondo State of Nigeria. Hakeem served in the United Nations Protection Force in former Yugoslavia. He holds a political science degree and has over 15 years' experience in international commodity and automobile trading. He is currently managing director of Africa Redcrest in Nigeria and is responsible for the production of 39,000 tons of rice per year in Ondo State and its surroundings.LinkedIn
Monica has more than 18 years of experience in education and scientific research. She has a deep knowledge and understanding of Latin American agricultural markets. Monica holds a degree in Education and a masters in neuro education. At Rice Exchange Monica is responsible for business development in Latin America and the Caribbean. She also provides social media content.LinkedIn
Zhong started his career as an investment analyst in Shanghai for private equity and venture capital funds. In 2015 he founded a cell phone parts business in the United States which reached turnover of US$900,000 within two years. Zhong holds a bachelor’s degree in Information Management from Zheng Zhou University in China.LinkedIn
Angela is an intellectual property lawyer with more than 15 years specializing in strategy, marketing and Business Development across casino gaming, music, e-sports, sustainable food and blockchain technologies. For nearly two decades she has founded, pivoted, exited and invested in companies in and around media, technology, commerce and food. She has created global insights strategies designed to inform product development and drafted standards for third party participation in highly regulated industries like gaming and wine. Angela founded Think About Your Food, an organization committed to the pursuit of sustainable food systems globally. She is a passionate vegan, driven to educate the world on the benefits of a plant-based diet and animal welfare. She brings to Rice Exchange her vision to disrupt the status quo and create efficiencies and value in an industry that supports a billion people in the world.LinkedIn
Charles is managing director at BTIG. He is a well-known thought leader on the adoption of new technologies in South East Asia and China having led early investments into digital and renewable energy technologies in the region. He has startup experience in Vietnam. His investment banking experience includes a director role at Credit Suisse First Boston and a sales trading role at HSBC Securities.LinkedIn
Rob is an agribusiness executive with over 25 years’ global experience in Research and Extension, Marketing, Operations, Business Development, M&A, Technology Licensing and Innovation. His most recent roles with Bayer CropScience in Asia included Country Division Head Vietnam/Cambodia, Country Head and CEO Greater China and Head of Business Development and Innovation Asia Pacific based in Singapore. Since leaving Bayer end 2017, Rob has engaged through various advisory board and non-executive director roles with startups, accelerators, agribusiness corporates, family office, private equity and NGOs. He is the CEO of the Boralis Group and Co-founder and Director of Beanstalk Agtech, which aims to bridge and scale disruptive agrifood technology to help reinvent the food system across Asia Pacific.LinkedIn
Uichol is a professor at the college of Business Administration of Inha University in Korea. He is also senior advisor for Asia at the Global Peter Drucker Forum and focuses on the impact that technology has on business and industry. Uichol is a blockchain expert in Korea and is a regular participant in blockchain conferences there.LinkedIn
Jessica is a director of education company The Schools Trust. She is an enthusiastic supporter of blockchain projects in Europe, having a technological and entrepreneurial background. Jessica founded and ran Mediatech, a leading European gaming company, so she is familiar with complex regulatory environments. She was previously CEO at Codere Apuestas where she launched Spain’s first regulated sport betting operation and she has held key roles in leading media and internet companies over the last 20 years. Jessica holds a master’s degree in international economics from SDA Boconni, Milan and a Bachelor in Economics from the London School of Economics.LinkedIn
Dr Popovski is Professor and Vice Dean at Jindal Global Law School. He was formerly Director of Studies for International Order and Justice at the UN University, Tokyo and a lecturer in International Law and Politics. He has worked on several distributed ledger technology projects including one in India that puts university qualifications on the blockchain. Vesselin will be advising Rice Exchange on social impact strategy as well as making introductions within his extensive institutional network.LinkedIn
Sara Roversi, serial entrepreneur and social innovator, founder of the YouCanGroup.it, and FutureFood.Network, an ecosystem that makes food innovation a key tool to tackle the great challenges of the future, connecting with the world while promoting local territory and empowering food heroes. Sara is the Executive Director of the Food Innovation Program, the international Master's program that aims to inspire and shape a new generation of entrepreneurs and innovators in the global food chain. She is a member of the Italian delegation of the Young Entrepreneurs G20 YEA and member of the Sustainable Food System task Forces at B20 Argentina.LinkedIn
Rupert has been involved with emerging markets trade, commodity and export finance markets for 15 years. He helped create the leading global media force in trade, commodity and export finance: GTR-Global Trade Review. He co-founded GTR Ventures, the world's first investment firm solely supporting and innovating alongside banks, insurers, corporates, and tradetechs specifically for trade and trade finance, leveraging off the huge trade finance community that GTR commands globally. GTRV's mandate includes mobilising private capital into trade and SME lending, particularly in emerging markets.LinkedIn
Sean Sheppard is co-founder of Silicon Valley based Seed-Stage Venture Capital Fund and Market Development Accelerator GrowthX and GrowthX Academy, a company that trains individuals who want to transition into a career in Sales and Business Development, Growth Marketing or UX Design. Sean is a serial entrepreneur who has successfully grown dozens of early-stage companies across a wide variety of products and markets. He was recently named the # 2 Sales Influencer online and contributor at The Huffington Post. He's now committed to working with countries, companies and startups on developing the next generation of entrepreneurs, innovators and sales leaders fon how to execute in the innovation economy.LinkedIn
Armando Souza has a wealth of experience in the early stage tech sector having mentored technology firms MHW, Ntime (both of which were later acquired) and Choice. He is a former Citicorp VP and is currently CEO and founder of Sucellus Capital, a consulting company and partner at DNA Investors, LLC. Armando graduated from Sao Paulo University with a Bachelor's degree in Physics and later studied Production Systems at postgraduate level at the Polytechnic School of Sao Paulo University. Whilst at Citicorp he took the Executive Development Program at Cornell University. Armando has managed his own investment portfolio since 1998. He is an investor in Rice Exchange through DNA Investors.LinkedIn
Richard has extensive experience in shipping, trading, insurance, finance and legal matters relating to physical commodities. Richard started his trading career 2000 working for two of the leading independent rice trading companies. During this time Richard worked in various sectors of the business including contract execution, legal, insurance and shipping. In 2008 Richard created HR Maritime, based in Geneva to provide bespoke professional services to the trading and shipping community. Richard is the President of the Geneva branch of The Propeller Club and a Fellow of The Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers.LinkedIn
Alina is a creative and passionate marketing manager and registered dietitian nutritionist working for the innovative AeroFarms, the largest indoor vertical farm in the world. A natural communicator, connector, and problem-solver Alina is passionate about driving transformational innovation in the realms of food, nutrition, public health and urbanization.LinkedIn
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