Dive Brief:

  • A cell app utilizing the Farmer Connect traceability platform powered by IBM Blockchain was introduced this week on the 2020 CES convention in Las Vegas. The “Thank My Farmer” app will give shoppers the flexibility to trace their coffee beans with an interactive map, in response to a launch.
  • Developers of the app embody J.M. Smucker Co., Volcafe Specialty Coffee Corp., RGC Coffee, Beyers Koffie of ​Belgium, the Colombian Coffee Growers Federation, Japanese buying and selling agency ITOCHU Corp., Dutch beverage firm Jacobs Douwe EgbertsRabobank, Swiss coffee dealer Sucafina and Norwegian chemical agency Yara International.
  • U.S. and Canadian shoppers will first be capable of entry the app by scanning QR codes on the 1850 Coffee model of premium single-origin coffee from Folgers, owned by Smucker. It will seem on different well-known coffee manufacturers in coming months.​

Dive Insight:

The traceability app might test some main containers for the legions of coffee drinkers on the market, in addition to for many who develop, roast, import and promote beans. As shoppers more and more search for extra transparency about the place their meals and drinks come from, this app traces the place the beans originated and will enhance coffee gross sales for collaborating corporations.

Blockchain tracks merchandise as they journey through the provision chain, so it can assist improve shopper confidence within the supply and high quality of what they eat and drink. More corporations have been turning to this expertise prior to now 12 months. This previous spring, Albertsons joined the IBM Food Trust, a blockchain-based meals and provide chain answer, to trace romaine lettuce after a number of foodborne sickness outbreaks. Kroger, Walmart, Dole, Driscoll’s, Golden State Foods, McCormick, McLane, Tyson Foods and Unilever additionally use the IBM Food Trust answer.

The new expertise can observe a person bag of coffee beans from supply to the cup, in response to Farmer Connect. The plan is to make use of farmer IDs to trace rising situations, report transactions and observe yields and gross sales costs. The challenge foresees roasters ultimately having the ability to digitally monitor the complete provide chain and importers having the ability to enhance buying and selling methods. By the tip of this 12 months, they can set farmer agreements, ship funds and observe coffee provide trails utilizing this expertise, Farmer Connect stated.

This is not the one methodology of monitoring coffee. A Colombian-based expertise agency is taking the same route with its bilingual iFinca app developed by India-based Debut Infotech. iFinca makes use of blockchain to attach producers and others within the provide chain, confirm purchases and make manufacturing extra environment friendly. It additionally goals to spice up slumping costs paid to coffee farmers to above the price of manufacturing by giving farmers extra visibility and voice within the provide chain, which may be a results of the new Thank My Farmer app.

In the U.S., 64% of adults drink a cup of coffee day by day — up 2% from 2017 and the best degree since 2012, in response to a 2018 survey from the National Coffee Association. More of Big Food is moving into coffee through acquisitions and by introducing new merchandise because of this elevated consumption, and apps like these might assist corporations stand out among the many competitors. Smucker has been investing in its 1850 Coffee and Folgers manufacturers through latest advertising and marketing campaigns, and it is the primary to be launching the Thank My Farmer app QR codes on its merchandise within the U.S.

For coffee corporations, these new apps might improve traceability and sustainability credentials — qualities shoppers search for when selecting from the myriad manufacturers obtainable in as we speak’s market. According to National Coffee Association statistics referenced by Financial Times, two-thirds of shoppers ages 19 to 24 need to buy sustainabily grown and responsibly sourced merchandise.


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