TYPICA Launches Coffee Expert Team to Enhance Collaboration on Sustainability Transformation of Green Coffee Supply Chain

TYPICA, which operates a direct trade platform connecting coffee producers and roasters worldwide, is set to update its online platform to a new model. In line with this update, we have launched the “Coffee Expert Team,” consisting of diverse professionals with extensive experience in the coffee industry and some of the company’s management members. As a team that supports the sourcing of green coffee beans, they will work alongside roasters of all sizes, beverage manufacturers, cafe chains, and trading companies to promote the sustainable transformation of green coffee sourcing through digital transformation, leading exclusive partner programs and other initiatives.

Founded in 2019, TYPICA is a global venture company aiming to innovate the coffee industry through a private sector-led creation of a new international coffee market. Currently, the company operates out of five locations, including Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, the Netherlands, and the United States, and offers its services in 75 nations and territories. Our network has grown to include over 110,000 producers and more than 5,500 roasters, with coffee from producers in 57 countries and territories being distributed through the platform.

Traditionally, the trading price of green coffee beans has been determined by international prices set in the futures market. When a bumper crop is expected in regions focused on mass-produced coffee, such as Brazil and Vietnam, the trading price falls. This means a decrease in income for the nearly 12 million small and medium-sized producers worldwide. In some cases, they are often forced to sell at prices below the cost of production. Furthermore, these international prices fluctuate wildly due to the influence of speculation flowing into the futures market, leaving an estimated 5.5 million coffee producers in poverty.
Due to these structural problems, many producers view coffee as an unprofitable, high-risk crop, and an increasing number of producers are abandoning coffee production. In addition to these realities, climate change and labor shortages are also contributing factors, raising concerns that the high-quality Arabica variety, which accounts for 60% of all coffee production, could be reduced by half by 2050.

TYPICA’s online platform, which aims to fundamentally innovate the coffee industry, realizes a pricing independent of the futures market by enabling direct trade with producers. This not only allows green coffee buyers worldwide to source the beans at prices that match their quality and cost of production, without being swayed by international prices, but also increases and stabilizes the income of small-scale producers, directly contributing to the sustainability of coffee.

The Purpose of Launching Coffee Expert Team
With the upcoming launch of the updated new model, a special community program will begin for companies that will work alongside us in leading the sustainable development of the coffee industry.
This is a limited partner program offered exclusively to coffee roasters, beverage manufacturers, cafe chains, and trading companies worldwide, who can maximize the value of the new model. The program includes various features that dramatically enhance the stability, growth potential, and profitability of partners’ green coffee sourcing. It forms the core of TYPICA’s global community-building efforts to realize its vision of “enhancing the sustainability of delicious coffee.”

The newly established Coffee Expert Team is a specialized team put together to promote the mainstreaming of direct trade together with all customers who share TYPICA’s vision, from micro-roasters to world-renowned large corporations. In the upcoming exclusive program, the team will provide meticulous support in close collaboration with partner companies to help them find their ideal green coffee and jointly drive the digital and sustainable transformation of green coffee sourcing.
TYPICA’s Coffee Expert Team is made up of diverse talents with extensive knowledge of coffee and coffee sourcing, as well as some of the company’s management members.

Shota Matsushita (Tokyo Office), Strategic Partner

Shota Matsushita graduated from Ritsumeikan University in 2008 and joined S. Ishimitsu & Co., Ltd., a trading firm specializing in beverages and food products.
In his first four years at the company, he implemented quality control of green coffee beans. In 2012, he was seconded to S. ISHIMITSU & Co., (SHANGHAI), Ltd., the company’s subsidiary in China, where he developed a business model for green bean distribution. After returning to Japan in 2015, he spent four years focusing on the sales of green coffee beans to domestic customers. During this period, Matsushita also engaged in sourcing and product development initiatives with coffee-producing countries in Asia and Brazil. From 2019 onward, he took on the responsibility of new client sales and marketing for roasted coffee products.
At TYPICA, Matsushita serves as a Sourcing Digital Transformation Strategic Partner, responsible for communication with medium to large clients. Japan Coffee Qualification Authority Certified Coffee Master.

Ryota Shinagawa (New York Office), Strategic Partner

Ryota Shinagawa graduated from the University of Tokyo in 2013 and joined Marubeni Corporation, a general trading firm.
For a decade following his entry into the company, he consistently engaged in the trading of green coffee, handling all aspects of the business, including sourcing, sales, logistics optimization, inventory management, market analysis, and quality control. In 2017, he was seconded to Cia Iguaçu de Café Solúvel, a Marubeni subsidiary in Brazil, where he was involved in the manufacturing and sales of instant coffee. During this time, he also collected and shared information on the Brazilian green coffee market. From 2019 to 2021, Shinagawa was stationed in Vietnam as a manager at Marubeni Vietnam Co., Ltd., where he supervised the local coffee team and contributed to the establishment of a new instant coffee manufacturing plant. Upon his return to Japan in 2021, he resumed his role in coffee trading as an acting manager.
At TYPICA, Shinagawa serves as a Sourcing Digital Transformation Strategic Partner, responsible for communication with medium to large clients.

Kazuto Nagai (Tokyo Office), Strategic Partner

In 2007, Kazuto Nagai joined Camel Coffee Co., Ltd., which operates Kaldi Coffee Farm, a nationwide coffee retail chain.
During his 13-year tenure at the company, he consistently worked in its coffee division, where he handled coffee production management at the company’s own factories, supply and demand control, and supplier management. From 2010, he engaged in green coffee sourcing and quality control. From 2014, he was responsible for coffee sales support and training at the company’s retail stores. In 2017, he returned to green coffee sourcing and quality control, and was appointed as the division chief the following year. He was also involved in the development of new products, such as coffee series connecting coffee-producing regions with consumers. Afterward, he gained experience in product development at a major discount store and coffee machine sales.
At TYPICA, he serves as a Coffee Expert, responsible for quality control and communication with medium to large clients.

Takayoshi Yamagiwa (Amsterdam Office), Origin Partner

After graduating from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in the United States, Takayoshi Yamagiwa obtained a master’s degree and a doctorate from the university’s graduate school. He is also a certified Q Arabica Grader.
After receiving various research contracts from various international organizations, such as the World Bank, United Nations Development Programme, and World Health Organization, he served as an executive of ITOCHU Corporation’s coffee subsidiaries in El Salvador and Guatemala, where he provided advice on company management, sourced Central American coffee, and implemented quality control. Later, as an executive of El Salvador’s government-owned bank, he offered guidance on lending and technical cooperation for small and medium-sized enterprises involved in coffee production. Additionally, he spent four years at the Inter-American Development Bank’s El Salvador office, contributing to the formation of coffee climate change loan projects.
In 2020, he moved to the Netherlands and became an independent consultant for coffee producers. At TYPICA, he focuses on developing producer networks and engaging in greenhouse gas (GHG) emission calculations.

Shizuka Funayama, Social Impact Officer

After graduating from Waseda University, Shizuka Funayama began her career at a trading company specializing in Official Development Assistance (ODA) projects. She then spent about a year in Nigeria, working at an overseas diplomatic mission. After obtaining a master’s degree from the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom, she joined an international NGO focused on providing humanitarian assistance, where she gained experience in project management and development. During her nearly 18-month tenure in Kenya, she took on the role of local office manager, overseeing a refugee aid program funded by the Japanese government and the United Nations.
After becoming independent, she participated in several startups in roles related to government-funded projects. Along the way, she expanded her expertise to include public relations, marketing, and general affairs.
At TYPICA, she serves as an Executive Officer, in charge of strengthening sustainable sourcing practices and fostering collaborations with government entities.

In recent years, there has been a growing call for private companies to make a positive impact on society. As someone with many years of experience in civil society, often referred to as the third sector, I sense a rising momentum for this sector to truly converge with the government (first sector) and the for-profit corporate world (second sector). However, despite the increasing pressure on companies to adopt new social responsibilities such as sustainable sourcing and decarbonization, clear global guidelines have yet to be established. Through TYPICA’s new model, I am excited to collaborate with stakeholders throughout the coffee industry to explore and embody the role that companies should play in the coming era, so that businesses and individuals can move forward in unison towards a better future.

Ayane Yamada, Representative Director and Chief Quality Officer (CQO)

Ayane Yamada began her career as a roaster in 2012, after successfully launching one of the largest roasteries in the Kansai region, western Japan. In 2014, she joined the coffee startup HOOP as a founding member and management team, where she established Japan’s first shared roastery.
In 2017, driven by her passion for a new form of direct trade, she visited Cuba, a coffee-producing region. She founded TYPICA in 2019, and has since been traveling to coffee-producing regions worldwide from her base in Amsterdam.
She became a director of TYPICA in 2020, and went on to earn a spot on Forbes JAPAN’s list of Top 20 Entrepreneurs in Japan in 2023.

The release of this new model marks a significant step towards realizing TYPICA’s vision, and I am deeply moved by this development. The model introduces features that will cause a dimensional shift in the sourcing of green coffee. Our Coffee Expert Team will act as a bridge between buyers and coffee producers, harnessing their individual experiences and expertise to create win-win success cases. The impact of this model extends beyond business success; it will directly contribute to enhancing coffee’s sustainability. I firmly believe that this model, nurtured in collaboration with the Coffee Expert Team, will set the new industry standard.

Masashi Goto, Representative Director and Chief Executive Officer (CEO)

Masashi Goto started his entrepreneurial career at the age of 19 when he began his first business in 2003. In 2009, he launched a social innovation business. In 2012, he was selected as a Global Shaper by the World Economic Forum, the organization behind the Davos Conference. During his stay in San Francisco in 2013, he discovered a thriving coffee culture that inspired him to participate in the launch of a coffee startup upon his return to Japan.
Since 2014, he has been sharing his insights on sustainable development as a part-time lecturer at Kwansei Gakuin University, teaching a course titled “Introduction to SDGs Practices.” In 2019, he was recognized as a Climate Reality Leader, joining a global initiative led by former US Vice President Al Gore to combat climate change.
In 2020, he established TYPICA as part of his ongoing commitment to enhancing the sustainability of the coffee industry and the world at large, assuming the role of Representative Director. In 2021, TYPICA received the Good Design Award BEST 100 and the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry’s Special Award, the Good Focus Award. In 2023, he earned a spot on Forbes JAPAN’s list of Top 20 Entrepreneurs in Japan. In the same year, he won the Small and Medium Enterprise Agency Commissioner’s Award at the Japan Venture Awards.

I am excited to embark on new challenges by maximizing the aspirations, experiences, knowledge, and networks cultivated by over 110,000 producers and roasters across 75 countries and territories since TYPICA’s founding. The coffee industry faces numerous obstacles, including inflation, labor shortages, and reduced harvest volumes and quality fluctuations due to climate change. In addition to these problems, there is significant volatility in exchange rates and futures prices. These factors often lead to uncertain and unpredictable coffee trading. However, by shifting our perspective, we can view these challenges as abundant opportunities to innovate and develop a more sustainable and progressive industry structure. The Coffee Expert Team, consisting of members with extensive experience in the coffee industry and social impact domains, is renewing its determination to spearhead this innovation. By wholeheartedly pursuing the dynamism of a global online platform and the potential of a community united by a shared vision, we aim to create a more economically viable and stable distribution structure for coffee trading. We are looking forward to seeing you all join us in this endeavor.

Starting today, TYPICA’s Coffee Expert Team will collaborate with our customers worldwide who aspire to the sustainability of delicious coffee. By combining our knowledge and experience, we will work alongside clients from micro- and large roasters to beverage manufacturers, cafe chains, and trading firms as we drive a revolution in the distribution of green coffee. Going forward, we plan to expand the Coffee Expert Team globally.