After a tepid launch earlier this year, the Coffee Board of India‘s (CBoI) blockchain coffee marketplace is seeing rising demand. The platform now has about 30,000 farmers registered compared to just 23 when the platform was launched, reported Down To Earth.
CBoI is one of the first government agencies in the country to have an in a production blockchain platform. The Coffee Board has developed a mobile app and a web portal with support from Eka Software Solutions.
The coffee supply chain is highly fragmented, with intermediaries such as farmers, traders, roasters, curers and other processors. In the past few years, global coffee prices have also stumbled. To remedy the situation, the Coffee Board has turned to blockchain and its ability to immutably track and trace products in supply chains.
“Blockchain offers unmatched traceability and increases the transparency, accountability and efficiency of the coffee supply chain,” Shuchi Nijhawan, vice-president, New Business and Global Human Relations, Eka Software Solutions told Down to Earth.
The platform aims to enable farmers to get better prices for their produce by eliminating agents and other intermediaries.
Based on Ethereum distributed ledger technology, the marketplace employs smart contracts to capture information regarding the product and ensure settlement. The Coffee Board is also training its staff to provide certificates to guarantee the quality of coffee, which can be uploaded to the marketplace.
Food traceability is in high demand due to conscious consumers who want to know what they are buying. Blockchain for coffee traceability is being trialed elsewhere in the world as well. Two months ago, blockchain firm GrainChain signed agreements with the Honduras coffee industry participants to unite them on its platform.
Another project is being led by blockchain startup Farmer Connect which has onboard coffee companies such as The J.M. Smucker Company and Jacobs Douwe Egberts (JDE) for coffee traceability. Farmer Connect’s platform is planned to go live in 2020.
Meanwhile, the coffee brand Starbucks is working with Microsoft Azure Blockchain for coffee traceability.
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