[Video Transcript] Turning Point: Information Asymmetry

Seb Prosser: Hello and welcome to Turning Point from Timely Coffees. My name, Seb. I'm one of the co-founders here and this is a video series we use to talk about different aspects of the coffee industry and how we approach them at Timely and how that impacts the coffee that we're putting out there for you as a coffee drinker. So today I want to talk about the concept of information asymmetry. And information asymmetry is a concept that's pretty well known in the world of economics. And the classic example of this is, you know, you're going out there to buy maybe a used car. And when you go out there and you find a car that you like and you start negotiating with the person selling it, you are generally always at a disadvantage because you know less about the car than the person selling it. So, you know, obviously this doesn't take into account those outlier situations. When you actually happen to be a car expert, you're going out to buy and you know more than them. But obviously, this is talking more about, you know, the average the average interaction that you have when you're buying something and you know less about that product and the person selling it. This puts you at a disadvantage because, you know, the actual value of that product is something that is defined by the person selling that product. And the information that they have to justify that is something they usually keep pretty close to themselves.

Seb Prosser: And whether or not that's information that adds value or detracts value, all you have is their word and the price that they're putting on this makes it really challenging to buy a lot of different products. But specifically in industries like cows and coffee, it becomes even harder because a lot of the time we as coffee roasters, we're in a very similar situation because we'll ask the people that are importing the coffee for us for more information. And we'll just kind of have to have to hope and have to trust that that information is true and accurate. And a lot of the time we have no more information other than what we're being relayed by the people importing the coffee, which then makes it even harder for you, because then the best situation that you can be in is that the information we're putting out there is as true as possible compared to what's actually being given to us. So it's already been two or three times removed before you as a consumer get to kind of experience that coffee. So there's a few things that we want to do at timely to try and change this. You will notice that on all the coffee packaging that we have at time, it's always got a lot of information on it. And this is information kind of beyond the basic kind of like coffee data about like altitude and processing. This is more about the narrative of exactly where that coffee getting from whenever possible.

Seb Prosser: We get these stories directly from the producers themselves, so we are getting closer and closer to be able to actually ask producers and send them to emails or speak to them over a video call and get this information directly from them. Whenever we can't, we use suppliers and importers that we trust and have always done a really good job by us. So as much as we can possibly tell, we are getting the all that, all the information we possibly can, and we're relaying that as honestly and as truthfully to you. So this means a few different things for a coffee consumer. Firstly, you know, you can be pretty sure that when you're buying timely that you're getting all the information that we have, we're not keeping anything back. Everything that we have, we're sharing. Also, it means that sometimes when you're buying coffee out there from someone else or somewhere else, it's really important to consider the information that's being given to you, how it's being given to you, and whether or not that's enough to make an informed choice as to the value and the transparency of that coffee. So this is one of the guiding principles of why we have the packaging, the way that we do, why we have a website, the way that we do, why we use this YouTube channel. Everything is about transparency and everything is about empowering you as a consumer to make sure that you can get the coffee that you're going to be most happy with and you're going to understand kind of why the coffee costs a little more than maybe other coffees and why it's worth it.

Seb Prosser: You know, like anything, we all just want coffee and we all want a product that is going to be great value. You know, I think that everyone listening to this and everyone here is timely would agree that, you know, expensive coffee is almost always worth it. But it's got to be it's got to be a good value. The value that you get from the coffee has to match the amount that we're charging for it. And if it doesn't, then that's a real problem. And one of the things that we're doing to make sure that we can actually make sure that we're getting around this is doing doing away with this idea of information asymmetry. We want you to share in the information that we have so that we can all kind of experience these coffees together. So that's a little bit about time and we'll have another video coming out pretty soon. But make sure if you have any questions about this or anything else, you can always send me an email at seb@timelycoffees.com.au and I'm more than happy to reply or speak to you via email or in person. And I'll even probably answer to answer some of your questions via a YouTube video. That's all we've got, and I'll see you next time.

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