At the 2020 Consumer Electronics Show (CES), Farmer Connect and IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced a new consumer mobile application called “Thank My Farmer,” which will allow coffee drinkers to trace their coffee to understand its quality and origin, and even support the farmer who grew the beans. Developed with leading companies across the global supply chain including Beyers Koffie, The Colombian Coffee Growers Federation (FNC), ITOCHU Corporation, Jacobs Douwe Egberts (JDE), The J.M. Smucker Company, Rabobank, RGC Coffee, Volcafe, Sucafina and Yara International, Farmer Connect is a traceability platform powered by IBM Blockchain designed to help increase traceability, efficiency and fairness in the coffee supply chain.
Consumers hoping to close the gap between their neighborhood barista and the farmer who grew their coffee now have a solution, thanks to the same blockchain technology behind IBM Food Trust. Farmer Connect is introducing the “Thank My Farmer” app, a consumer-facing application that pulls information directly from the blockchain in a standardized way that can be used across the industry. It connects the user to farmers, traders, roasters and brands. The information is presented on an interactive map, allowing each product to tell a story in a simple and scalable way. The “Thank My Farmer” app also presents sustainability projects in coffee communities and an opportunity for consumers to support them.
Blockchain technology brings all the parties in the coffee supply chain together, simplifying the exchange and tracking of information and payments, and enabling greater trust. It creates a permanent digitized chain of transactions that cannot be altered. Each network participant has an exact copy of the data, and additions to the blockchain are shared throughout the network based on each participant’s level of permission. Farmers, wholesalers, traders and retailers can interact more efficiently using comprehensive, near real-time access to this data, and consumers can have new insights about the origins of the products they consume.