A consortium of companies from the global coffee supply chain have teamed up with Swiss blockchain startup Farmer Connect to put the coffee supply chain on blockchain to track coffee from the farmer to the consumer.
The supply chain consortium members include the Colombian Coffee Growers Federation (FNC), ITOCHU Corp., The J.M. Smucker Co., JACOBS DOUWE EGBERTS (JDE), RGC Coffee, Beyers Koffie, and Sucafina.
Farmer Connect helps building farm-to-consumer traceability solutions for enterprises based on the blockchain-powered IBM Food Trust Platform.
Farmer Connect said it worked with IBM to develop an application named “Thank My Farmer” that gives consumers a full description of the coffee they are drinking. The app pulls data from the blockchain to highlight the journey that the coffee has taken through an interactive map.
Blockchain will help establish an immutable, transparent environment for transactions among the members of the coffee supply chain ecosystem, including growers, logistics providers, traders, brand owners, retailers, regulators, and consumers.
The solution recently completed months of testing, tracing coffee originating in Colombia and Rwanda from production to delivery. The provenance of each bag of exported coffee was captured in detail.
Farmer Connect noted that the first version of the “Thank My Farmer” app will initially be available to test users in select markets of J.M. Smucker Co., JDE, and other partners before opening up for general availability in 2020.
The company said it plans to expand to other smallholder farmer commodities, such as tea and cocoa, after the successful implementation of the blockchain-powered app for the coffee industry.
Farmer Connect is also developing a farmer-owned decentralized digital identity with Streetcred ID based on the Sovrin Network that will allow tracing to the individual farmer. Farmers will also benefit by having a digital track record of production and payment data that will, in turn, make many of them bankable for the first time.
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