October 6, 2000 -- Two announcements percolated out of the $50 billion green coffee market today, with Procter & Gamble reportedly turning to the Internet to buy part of its beans and a Net marketplace revealing that it will give its customers online access to the London futures market for java.
In New York, InterCommercial Markets Corp., an Internet-based provider of trading, information and communications services to the global commodities industry, announced that it has entered into an agreement with Procter & Gamble Company under which P&G's Folgers and Millstone brands will use InterCommercial's web-based system as part of their green coffee procurement.
"We believe the InterCommercial trading model does a good job of replicating existing industry practices while bringing the benefits of the Internet to our business," said Greg White, director of green coffee purchasing for Procter & Gamble, headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio. "We see the InterCommercial system as an interface around which the industry can build an electronic supply chain that can better match buyers and sellers and improve the effectiveness and efficiency of post transactional aspects of our business."
"Folgers' and Millstone's support of our site will be of tremendous assistance in encouraging the green coffee industry to transact its business over the Internet," said Ted Heilman, president and CEO of InterCommercial Markets. "We view their support as further confirmation of our belief that bringing the soft commodity markets to the Internet requires a neutral exchange which maintains confidentiality without forfeiting counter-party choice."
Procter & Gamble, based in Cincinnati, Ohio, markets 300 brands to nearly five billion consumers in over 140 countries.
InterCommercial Markets, founded in 1999 by former commodity industry executives, is a privately held company. It offers Web-based software to streamline and automate commodities trading, as well as communication features and industry specific content.
Meanwhile, eGreenCoffee.com, which bills itself as "the first B2B exchange to provide a liquid, anonymous and secure platform for trading green coffee," announced that, starting in late November, it will offer its members online access to the London futures market through an alliance with Sucden (UK) Limited, a leading U.K. commodity and financial futures brokers.
"It is an exciting time for the green coffee industry as the market transforms itself by taking advantage of emerging technology and the Internet," said Hanif Moledina, CEO and president of Sterling, Virginia-based eGreenCoffee and a 16-year veteran of the coffee and tea industry.
Offering online futures trading is part of eGreenCoffee's drive to offer additional services to its customers, according to the company, which says it is pursuing partnerships to offer such services as surveillance and certification, insurance, logistics and financing. "These value-added services will reduce supply-chain costs, increase liquidity and decrease risks for eGreenCoffee's members," Moledina asserted.
eGreenCoffee will be able to offer members online access to the London futures market through Sucden (UK) after the London International Financial Futures and Options Exchange's electronic trading platform (LIFFE CONNECT) goes live in late November.
Launched in July, eGreenCoffee provides an anonymous and secure platform to trade green coffee globally via the Internet, as well as industry information such as futures quotes, weather updates, market alerts and news.
Sucden (UK) Limited has been operating in the financial and commodity futures and options markets since 1973. Sucden (UK)'s parent company is Sucden SA, a company incorporated in France.