The breadth and complexity of the coffee supply chain globally makes traceability a pretty difficult principle to guarantee. The path of the beans is long and articulated: once they grow up they first reach the cooperatives, then move on to the export, shipping and import companies, face the roasting process, and then be managed by distributors and retailers, before reaching the end consumer.
In this chain, each actor is able to track only their own skill line, using custom systems and methodologies to record data. Info about the entire journey, and therefore the good, is uneven and heterogeneous, creating a gap between the beginning and the end of the process. IBM collaborated with a blockchain-friendly agriculture startup to bridge this gap, creating a direct line between the protagonists of the journey, such as the bartender and the manufacturer using blockchain.
More platforms will be created to leverage Blockchain and DLT in order to drive traceability, efficacy and equity in the coffee supply chain. At CES 2020 in Las Vegas, they announced the new blockchain-based app to give coffee lovers the opportunity to know where they come from and quality, but also to support the farmer who grew the beans. in a perspective that allows to fully address themes that directly impact on the sustainability of production.
Blockchain technology extracts and preserves data on the phases that characterize the coffee supply chain, through a perpetual digitized transaction chain that can’t be modified and thus preserves its integrity and simplifies the exchange and monitoring of info and payments.
Every subject in the chain has its own copy of the data, each integration is shared according to the permission level. In this way farmers, wholesalers, merchants and retailers can interact more efficiently through full and almost real-time access to info, and at the same time consumers can have up-to-date data about the good they drink or consume.
Due to the endless potential of these distributed ledger technologies including blockchain and cryptocurrencies, IBM is trying to invest highly in this nascent field so as it can make profits in it and also help users (the public) in one way or the other. Last year, American multinational information technology (IT) firm rolled out business hubs focusing on integrating cloud computing for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Italy. Many other big companies have benefited from the innovations that this IT company is developing, for instance, Lenovo, Anheuser-Busch InBev, Nokia, Schneider Electric, Vodafone, etc. are using its blockchain-based project called Trust Your Supplier to carry out their day-to-day activities.