The new app called “Thank My Farmer” will enable users to trace the coffee that they buy through the supply chain. The app has been built in collaboration with traceability platform Farm Connect. The app was announced at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas and is expecting to launch sometime this year.
10 leading coffee organisations support the app including Beyers Koffie and the Colombian Coffee Growers Federation (FNC), the largest association of its kind in that country. The companies support it as it’s designed for consumers to be able to support sustainable coffee businesses and make informed choices. It will be able to promote ethical and environmentally friendly suppliers.
David Behrends, Farmer Connect founder, and president commented:
The aim is humanizing each coffee drinker’s relationship with their daily cup,” he added “Consumers now can play an active role in sustainability governance by supporting coffee farmers in developing nations. Through the blockchain and this consumer app, we’re creating a virtuous cycle.
Blockchain technology is ideal to track coffee as the supply chain is long and complicated. After the beans are grown it is then shipped, roasted and packaged before being sent out to retailers. With many sections and participants involved in the process, it can be difficult to accurately track the information. An accurate origin of coffee growth can be particularly difficult for consumers to track.
The Thank My Farmer app is not the first to use blockchain to track the coffee supply chain. The Ethiopian government announced last year that it is exploring how to track coffee exports using blockchain with IOHK.
Starbucks is also another entity wishing to track coffee, the company announced in May it would implement the use of Microsoft’s Azure blockchain providing consumers with a “complete view” of its supply chain.
The Thank My Farmer app will use IBM’s blockchain to unify the information and make it available in one place. Users of the app will be able to scan QR codes on the side of coffee packaging and look at the origins of their coffee purchase with the option to make additional payments to the farmers who grew the beans, cutting out the middleman.
Raj Rao, IBM Food Trust general manager commented:
This project is another example of how blockchain technology can enable a channel for real change, he added, Blockchain is more than aspirational business tech, it is used today to transform how people can build trust in the goods they consume. For business, it can drive greater transparency and efficiency.
Blockchain technology is being used by large companies and governments to improve many existing and future systems, in fact, blockchain is already improving our lives.
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