Bi-National Event

Weather Safe Coffee participates in bi-national working group Mexico-UK for the design of research and innovation strategies that promote sustainable development in central Veracruz

Weather Safe Limited, a start-up company based in the Harwell Space Cluster and London, participated in a week long working group that was held in Oxford during the week of 7 September. The event was promoted by the British Council and organised by Isis Enterprise, part of Isis Innovation Limited, the technology transfer company of the University of Oxford.

The event was attended by a number of UK SMEs and a large delegation from Mexico representing various industries in the agriculture, food and other industries. The event was to support the Mexican coffee industry and UK businesses.

WeatherSafe’s aims to use its platform to assist and innovate the Mexican coffee sector and build business links, initially through trials.

Big data to help coffee farmers adapt to climate change

Lou Del Bello, Sci Dev Net, 14 May 2015

Analysis: Precision farming aims to transform crop yields through technology

Alan Bullion, Agra Europa, 5 December 2014

Satellite data offers fresh perspectives for piracy and insurance to farming

Shane Hickey, The Guardian, 16 June 2014

UK Jobs: Age is But a Number in the World of Innovation

Tim Just, International Business Times, 7 October 2014

Let’s stick together to drive success

Kathryn Cooper, The Sunday Times, Economics Correspondent, 12 May 2013

Vince Cable announces new Government investment in hi-tech business start-ups

The Oxford Times, 15 August 2013 

How Mobile Apps For Farmers Could Help Fight Rising Coffee Prices

Tina Amirtha, Fast Company, 15 May 2014

WeatherSafe presents innovative technology at Kigali Symposium

European Space Agency, 25 April 2014

Overview - Food Supply

The Satellite Applications Catapult, 14 October 2014

How apps are helping small farmers bring you better coffee

Holly Richmond, 15 May 2014 

Mobile app provides forecasts for Rwandan coffee farmers

Smattakenya (blog), 22 April, 2014

Rwanda Collaboration Colloquium: Network Convenes in Rwanda to Solve Potato Taste Challenge

Global Knowledge Initiative, 15 April, 2014 

Network Combats African "Potato Taste" Coffee Challenge

The Non Profit Press, 12 April, 2014 

Coffee Focus: International Network Convenes in Rwanda to Solve “Potato Taste” Challenge

Didier Muyiramye on 11 April, 2014 

From the sky to the fields: "Agriculture meets Big data"

e-Agriculture, 10 Apr 2014

Growing More Coffee

European Space Agency International website, 21 Mar 2014 

Picture Preview: Rwanda Coffee Collaboration Colloquium

Global Knowledge Initiative, MARCH 21, 2014 

Harwell science centre leads new space race + Video

OxfordMail, 10 Mar 2014 

‘Smart’ weather data boost farmers’ fortunes

SciDev Net, 22 November 2013 

Bledisloe Memorial Lecture 2013 on science, technology and agriculture

Published 15 November 2013

Concentrating facilities and expertise

The Engineer, by Iain Gray, 8 July 2013 

Specific Growing Conditions

By 2080, it is claimed Kew Royal Botanic Gardens researchers that the consequences of climate change could led to the disappearance of between 65% and 90% of the locations bioclimatically suitable for wild Indigenous Arabica Coffee. 

Due to the narrow genetic diversity of domesticated coffee plants, the possible extinction of the wild Arabica coffee would pose a serious threat to any continued existence of this cultivated coffee species. 

The Impact of Climate Change on Indigenous Arabica Coffee (Coffee arabica): Predicting Future Trends and Identifying Priorities. (2012) Kew Royal Botanic Gardens, Environment and Coffee Forest Forum.

Coffee plants require very specific climatic conditions to grow. The coffee growing area exists between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn, the so-called ‘Coffee Belt’.Despite some specific regional variations, the coffee plants are grown at high altitudes, preferably in a moist, tropical climate, with soils and temperatures that reach around 21°C.

This makes the coffee production more exposed to environmental issues such as weather extremes, pests and disease and soil quality deterioration. These issues are compounded firstly by climate change effects, which result in shifts and alterations to the characteristics suitable for the existence of coffee and then for optimal coffee productions, and secondly by a lack of information on these variables and the necessary intelligence and solutions placed in the right hands to best manage them.

Quality Means Value

The price of Rwandan coffee, the speciality grade in particular, has been constantly outperforming the New York coffee commodity C-price in the last 10 years, reflecting its premium quality.

Rwandan Development Board, Agriculture Department and Rwandan National Agricultural Export Development Board (NAEB), 2013

Coffee is the second most valuable commodity in the world after oil. More than any other agricultural commodity market, quality means value means better economics in the coffee market. Higher-quality coffee beans are sold at a considerable premium.

The speciality grade is the highest that can be awarded to commercial coffee. Qualifying as a speciality grade, coffee has to meet particular physical characteristics and specific organoleptic qualities like nature of aroma, acidity, body, fragrance and aftertaste. Such quality commands a considerable premium for both the producers and the roasters.

Since 1999, an international competition for high quality coffee is held globally, the 'Cup of Excellence’. The winning coffees are chosen by a select group of national and international professional coffee ‘cuppers’ (tasters) and are blind tasted at least five different times during the competition process. Only coffees that continuously score high enough are allowed to move forward in the competition. The farmers who produced the highest scoring coffee lots in the final round are compensated with the high prices offered in an online auction to buy the coffee. To date, the highest price paid for a Cup of Excellence coffee lot is $80 per pound, in contrast with a market price that can average around $1 per pound.

WeatherSafe recognizes this premium that high quality coffee can gain as an amazing opportunity for all.

Our commitment to continuously improve the overall quality of coffee production, will deliver significant, timely and yet achievable economic gains that can be reached by all coffee stakeholders, in the producing countries as well as in the consuming countries.

Quality is a Land to Discover

Quality in coffee is very important as it can bring much higher returns. Although the understanding and scientific knowledge of coffee quality have advanced in the last 25 years, much still remain to be discovered about coffee’s flavour and quality determinants. Coffee quality is indeed complex as more than 400 organic and inorganic compounds interact and contribute to the flavour of coffee.

Besides, the nature of quality controls performed throughout the coffee production often create a quality awareness ‘gap’ between the farming side and the consumer side. Several quality controls are executed at the final stages of coffee processing, after the roasting and brewing and often they occur far from the production side.

Since it is not uncommon that the last phases of coffee processing are undertaken in the importing countries and therefore close to the end-consumers, this leaves many coffee producers with a partial understanding of the quality and flavour determinants of coffee, and limited ability to address such issues.

WeatherSafe’s mission is to enhance the understanding of coffee production and quality by utilising the vastly untapped capabilities embedded into the satellite data analysis and other sources. With careful modeling of the environmental variables related to the coffee production, we are committed to unveil the secrets of the coffee flavour thus securing higher yields and benefitting all the coffee supply chain stakeholders.

Our Mission

At Weather Safe, we develop solutions to one of the greatest challenges facing humankind – leadership in data science, the next breakthrough area of agriculture. Together, we will provide new time critical insights and help farmers & government with the decisions they make every season, generating new growth opportunities.

World population is expected to grow from 7 billion today to nearly 10 billion by 2050. Meeting that challenge will require important innovations and many diverse stakeholders working together in new ways. Weather Safe is committed to being part of this critical work.

We formed rewarding relationships and investment from the European Space Agency & the UK Technology Strategy Board. These collaborations are aimed at supporting the delivery of our technology to help agriculture decision-making,


to optimise both quantity and quality of crops’ outputs, therefore increasing yield and profits, throughout the entire value chain, from the farmer to the end-user.Our vision is to enable pro-active environmental stewardship through solutions, which provide a range of benefits and add value environmentally, socially and economically.

Through our focused customer-centred approach, we are developing rewarding relationships with partners and suppliers as we incorporate, integrate with and monitor high value agriculture supply chains, providing business related information services in agriculture.

Weather Safe is building an ‘eco-system’ in which each targeted customer acts also a player in the Weather Safe system, actively contributing and in turn, benefiting from the services offered to the other players in the supply chain.


Management Team

David Mills


Chief Executive Officer

Prior to Weather Safe Ltd, David, with his brother GrahamMills, founded a company specialised in IT infrastructure planning and deployment. He successfully grew the reputation in providing strategic advice and planning to IT departments and industry specialists leading IT projects in banking and FTSE 100 Companies, as well as for medium sized enterprises and even high net worth individuals. The company have a proven track record with companies enabling fast growth through technology from start up to floatation.

Graham Mills


Chief Technical Officer

Prior to Weather Safe Ltd, Graham, with his brother David Mills, founded a company specialised in IT infrastructure planning and deployment. He successfully grew the reputation in providing strategic advice and planning to IT departments and industry specialists leading IT projects in banking and FTSE 100 Companies, as well as for medium sized enterprises and even high net worth individuals. The company have a proven track record with companies enabling fast growth through technology from start up to floatation.

Francesco Liucci


Sales and Marketing Director

Francesco Liucci is an MSc in International Economics and Business and has a degree in International Relations from the University of Bologna. He moved abroad from Italy straight after this graduation in December 2008, to finalize his academic project on potential solutions to overcome the prevailing lack of credit following the financial crisis.

Francesco also works as a business analyst at the Satellite Applications Catapult, the UK’s leading organization to promote new value-added applications using satellite data, creating a bridge to best-in-class experts in this area. With an Italian background, Francesco has inherited a genuine passion for good coffee and can appreciate the tangible benefits of WeatherSafe. He is proudly promoting and realizing the mission of WeatherSafe Coffee, to produce better coffee quality.

Previous to Weather Safe Ltd, Francesco has worked on different start-up projects, ranging from the use of social media and collaborative online games to improve virtual work environments to the development of augmented reality and 3D immersive software for commercial purposes. Applications. He is one of the founders of Buysta Ltd, a start-up providing systems to make more efficient the off-grid energy market in UK.

Padraig Dowd


Board Advisor

Padraig is an independent executive who has in-depth and consolidated knowledge accrued in more than 30 years of experience across financial, strategic, marketing, operational and general management arenas internationally.

His extensive skillset spans across business strategy and development, global distribution and channel partner management, product development, partnerships and M&A in leading-edge technology satellite business. He is a commercial leader driving global value through customer and market expansion in government, media, aeronautical, maritime, NGO and logistics segments.

Being a recognised problem solver, Padraig brings value to the company by anticipating and addressing evolving, complex and high-risk issues through innovative solutions. He has been a fundamental and inspiring figure for the development of WeatherSafe, by fostering leadership throughout the business and team building process

Joseph Buckwell


Lead Analyst

Graduated from Manchester University with a BEng in Electrical and Electronic Engineering.

Joe has an excellent knowledge of key theories and experiments behind the major fields of physics (Electromagnetism, Mechanics and Thermodynamics), and areas of further physics such as Quantum Mechanics.

Joe's interest in physics, astrophysics, programming and electronics bring to Weather Safe an array of key transferable skills, and we believe that Joe makes an excellent addition to Weather Safe and is an example of our drive to recruit creative problem solvers.

Selim Oner


Operations Manager

Before joining Weather Safe Selim was an Operational manager for the NHS responsible for the day-to-day organising and coordinating of services and resources for multiple Trusts, liaising with clinical staff and other professionals, dealing with the public and managing complaints. Selim devised operational structures for anticipating and resolving service delivery issues. Selim planed and implemented Trust changes. He is exited to join a team dedicated to solving the big challenges facing mankind.

Daniel Crawley


Lead Software Engineer

Over 12 years experience in application development before joining Weather Safe he was leading developer for Mori Seki one of the largest machine tool builders in the world.

This has included mobile applications, web development and machine control software.

Daniel has an extensive understanding of computer programming languages. Enjoyed positions as senior developer roles in award winning teams. Has been responsible for small software development teams in complex projects across multiple disciplines.

Contributed to the on-going improvement of software practices within the business, Research, design and implement best practice solutions to new problems. Daniel played a key role in upholding company coding conventions and ensures a consistent output.

Guy Harrowell


Senior Infrastructure Manager

Prior to joining Weather Safe Guy Harrowell had a wealth of experience in blue chip companies, having taken senior positions in IT infrastructure, planning & support. Designing corporate IT environments and responsible for planning & contingency through to deployment. Guys exceptional abilities have singled him out as a leader in his field, Weather Safe are exited to have the calibre of Guy on our management team.

Senior Global IT infrastructure manager

Guy was promoted to Senior Global infrastructure manager at Travelex A world leading specialist provider of foreign exchange and international payments for consumer and business customers in 2008, this involved expanding internal services and additional support for APAC and NA regions extending the user base to over 3000 users in over 1000 branches.

London 2012 Olympics

Guy lead the Acer's Olympic story to deliver its services when it won London Olympics hardware partner contract, previously held by its sparring partner Lenovo and London 2012 was in fact Acers second Olympics, having previously covered the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver.

Guy was responsible for the deployment of Acer solutions and equipment that was to be used by Olympic officials, media and other high profile clients during games.

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