Folgers Coffee entrusts IBM blockchain with supply chain transparency

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IBM blockchain has found another major taker. This time it is America’s largest ground coffee producing brand, Folger 1850 Coffee brand, under J.M. Smucker Company, declared an official press release on Wednesday.

Smucker’s Folgers brand has joined forces with Farmer Connect, a blockchain ecosystem that envisions end-to-end supply chain transparency and efficiency, to bring about a thorough coffee provenance solution.

For that, it will deploy IBM blockchain to connect the producers of the 1850 Coffee to its consumers where the end-users will be able to see how the beans were grown, extracted, brewed, and brought to the store shelves.

A step closer to ethical consumerism

Earlier this year, Farmer Connect and IBM launched a blockchain solution called the Thank My Farmer app to promote ethical decision making in coffee selling and buying. The app empowers users with an ability to know how environmentally-friendly the coffee sourcing and its distribution have been and track each step of the supply chain from farms to supermarkets.

Farmer Connect also plans to eliminate third party suppliers and intermediaries who take away a large chunk of revenue from the coffee growers’ earnings, leaving them with little to no control over the supply chain of their own product. With IBM blockchain, coffee producers can directly connect with the end-users without having to rely on agencies.

From now on, the consumers of the Folgers coffee can scan the QR code available on the pack, which will then direct them to the Thank My Farmer app. The app will feature all the vital information concerning the process and date of its growth, harvesting, processing, exporting, and sale.

IBM blockchain: A game-changer for small-scale farmers

Paul Chang, who is the blockchain leader at IBM, said in the announcement that initiatives such as these are essentially making a life-changing transformation in farmers’ and consumers’ lives as they can both support each other for better livelihoods. In fact, the app also allows consumers to offer additional financial support through donations that directly go to the village that has contributed to growing the coffee beans.

Commenting further on the tripartite partnership that entrusts IBM blockchain to provide start-to-end supply chain transparency, Chang added that unlike most industries, the coffee industry has more small-scale farms than the large ones. Thus, the initiative brings producers, traders, consumers, and distributors together under one platform through which real-time data sharing is made possible. 

What we want to do is make consumers realize that the everyday morning beverage was sourced from clearwater, stored in hygienic conditions, and supported the livelihood of one small-time coffee grower. And that’s how IBM blockchain promotes ethical sourcing. 

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