Blockchain set to power Asia’s farmers

TOKYO — After scanning a barcode at Indonesian coffee chain Blue Korintji Coffee, paying customers can identify the farmer who grew their coffee, the company that roasted the beans and even the logistics involved.

Powered by blockchain, modern technology’s answer to establishing trust among an otherwise unconnected group, the initiative is the brainchild of Singapore startup Emurgo which has partnered with Blue Korintji to create a premium product that ultimately boosts returns to farmers.

Making use of blockchain technology would help Blue Korintji differentiate its product in an increasingly competitive market where consumption has almost quadrupled since 1990, company founder Budi Isman told the Nikkei Asian Review.

Knowing which farmers made a cup of coffee, “in terms of the story, and to the consumers, is very beneficial,” Isman said.

With people more willing to pay higher prices for products they can trust, Budi said Blue Korintji would also pay a premium if he could be certain which famers produced the coffee beans.

Lembah Kerinci Developindo operates six Blue Korintji Coffee shops in Indonesia.

As Asian tastes grow more sophisticated, and consumers show more concern for how their food is produced, including its impact on the environment and the working conditions of those involved in bringing it to the table, farmers across the region are embracing blockchain to help improve supply transparency and add value to their produce.

The United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) is working with Papua New Guinea pork producers to use blockchain to prove that their livestock meets international standards and helping them win access to international markets.

International charity Oxfam is also working with Cambodian rice growers to help them use blockchain technology to promote fair trade by ensuring that farmers are adequately paid and that consumers can make more informed purchasing…

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