Coffee supply chains are now going the blockchain way

Though blockchain has found traction in certain sectors within the international logistics space, its use case within food supply chains has been one of the most convincing yet. Blockchain technology is nothing if not utilitarian, with it essentially tackling the two cardinal problems prevalent within supply chains – the lack of visibility and transparency among stakeholders.

For centuries, coffee has been one of those commodities that has truly been traded across continents, as coffee plantations invariably were situated around the equatorial belt while the beverage has been enjoyed ubiquitously around the world.

Fascinatingly enough, blockchain’s possibilities in the coffee value chain transcend the usual trope of visibility and trustability. Coffee cultivation is still caught up in the clutches of forced and child labor across large swathes of Africa and South America, the likes of which could be brought to light by adopting blockchain. It also can help to reduce the lopsided financial equation of the coffee value chain, as studies show coffee farmers earn as little as 7 percent of the retail price of coffee.

Across the world, several blockchain pilots exist within coffee supply chains, mainly to understand its provenance and thereby assure quality to consumers. This March, the Indian government approved the ‘Coffee Blockchain Initiative’ that is expected to help integrate coffee farmers with the markets in a more transparent manner. The government expects blockchain to delete several layers of redundant middlemen and helps bridge the gap between consumers and producers.

“This initiative will help in creating a brand image for Indian Coffee through traceability, by reducing growers dependency on intermediaries and having direct access to buyers for a fair price for their produce,” said the Indian Ministry of Commerce & Industry in its statement. “Blockchain helps in finding the right coffee suppliers for exporters and…

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