Companies in the coffee supply chain are to collaborate with Farmer Connect, a tech start-up building farm-to-consumer traceability solutions, to create efficiencies in the supply chain.
The partners in the project’s initial phase include the Colombian Coffee Growers Federation, Itochu Corporation, JM Smucker Company, Jacobs Douwe Egberts, RGC Coffee, Beyers Koffie, and Sucafina.
They plan to work together to build what they described as “an intelligent ecosystem” for the coffee supply chain.
The platform will be available to the entire coffee community and expansion into other commodities starting in 2020.
Blockchain has potential to help address challenges in the supply chain because it establishes an immutable, transparent environment for transactions.
Growers, logistics providers, traders, brand owners, retailers, regulators, and consumers can use Farmer Connect’s platform to share permissioned access to information. This can enable coffee members of the ecosystem to trace products to their source and share sales and customer feedback with the growers.
“Global coffee prices recently hit the lowest price in over a decade, and many farmers are being forced to exit the industry entirely by turning to new crops or migrating. If this trend continues, it will severely impact the broader supply chain, and it will likely be consumers who ultimately shoulder the burden of higher retail prices or a reduced number of coffee-producing countries,” said Dave Behrends, Founder and President of Farmer Connect.
“Blockchain technology, combined with digital identity and the ability to support sustainable projects across borders, is poised to bring radical transparency, efficiency, and data-driven sustainability metrics that have the possibility to birth a new, more equitable economic model in one of the world’s most vital commodity markets,” he claimed.
For more information see the November issue of of Coffee & Cocoa International.