Start-up uses IBM’s Food Trust technology to trace coffee

Date : 08 January 2020

At the 2020 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) that’s taking place in Las Vegas, blockchain start-up Farmer Connect has introduced a new mobile application called “Thank My Farmer”, which allows coffee drinkers to trace the origins of their coffee.

A result of a global partnership

The solution, which uses the blockchain technology behind IBM’s Food Trust platform, has been developed in partnership with leading organisations across the coffee supply chain, including Beyers Koffie, The Colombian Coffee Growers Federation (FNC), ITOCHU Corporation, Jacobs Douwe Egberts (JDE), The J.M. Smucker Company, Rabobank, RGC Coffee, Volcafe, Sucafina and Yara International.

The new mobile application is due to be launched to the general public early this year. Users in North America will be able to scan QR codes on 1850® brand premium single-origin coffee, while European users will have the chance to access the app via Beyers 1769, a single-origin brand roasted at Beyers Koffie.

It’s interesting to note that IBM’s blockchain technology is already being used to trace other products such as baby milk and pharmaceutical products.

David Behrends, Founder and President of Farmer Connect, said: "The aim is humanizing each coffee drinker's relationship with their daily cup. 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."

Raj Rao, General Manager, IBM Food Trust, commented: "This project is another example of how blockchain technology can enable a channel for real change. 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."

Across 2020, while the app is expanding, other companies will be invited to join the platform which allows farmers, wholesalers, traders and retailers to interact more efficiently using comprehensive, real time access to data, while app users will benefit from new insights on the origins of the coffee they consume.

Check our Transformed by technology hub for more related content.