The application uses blockchain technology to track and verify the supply chain of coffee beans.

During the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), an annual event related to global technology development, and held in the city of Las Vegas at the beginning of 2020, the IBM Company showed an application that would use blockchain technology to facilitate the traceability of coffee supply chain and; therefore, certify the places of origin of each bean.

The project was not developed only by the tech giant IBM, as it had the important participation of Farmer Connect, which is an organization dedicated to improving the processes of sustainability and growth of supply chains and distribution of agricultural products.

The application called “Thank My Farmer”, which was created thanks to this collaboration between IBM and the agricultural organization, will allow users to know the origin of the coffee bean they consume; thus, carrying more detailed information about the product and its way to the consumer.

IBM developed a whole system based on blockchain technology, an intense chain of movements and digital operations which turns out to be constant. The result assumes that all the information involved cannot be altered or modified, helping to make more transparent monitoring of coffee beans. IBM promoted the initiative using its outstanding development in Blockchain as a foundation.

The Operation of “Thank My Farmer”

According to data provided by David Behrends, Founder and President of the Farmer Connect agricultural organization, the tool will work as a current application for smartphones, where through it users can scan the QR code directly from the product packaging, thus allowing the deployment of an interactive map that will guide the user on the path the coffee bean had.

In this sense, Paul Chang, who is the director of blockchain technology at IBM, said that this application will not only give consumers information about the product they consume but will also provide traders, retailers, wholesalers and farmers with a follow-up of coffee that will be updated in real-time. Providing a copy of all transaction data made by each participant in the network.

Chang decided to clarify that the operation of the application will be in charge of the company, which said it will work as the IBM blockchain network. Besides, he highlights that currently, more than 200 suppliers such as Carrefour and Walmart use their application systems that give life to the “Food Trust” platform. 

“We took the assets of the Food Trust network and put them in a dedicated environment for Farmer Connect to address the coffee industry supply chain. As a result, Farmer Connect does not have to worry about scalability, security, and robustness of the network since Food Trust has already demonstrated everything”, he explained.

Customers could obtain, in this way, all the necessary information to be sure that the product they will consume is suitable for consumption. In this way, they would feel more confident about the quality of the product.

By María Rodríguez


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