J.M. Smucker To Use Blockchain For Traceability Of 1850 Coffee Brand

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Food products maker J.M. Smucker is set to use blockchain technology to provide traceability to coffee lovers for their 100% Colombian Coffee brand 1850 on product checks and region of origin.

The company has teamed up with Swiss blockchain startup Farmer Connect, which helps building farm-to-consumer traceability solutions for enterprises based on the blockchain-powered IBM Food Trust Platform.

Farmer Connect has worked with IBM to develop an application named "Thank My Farmer" that gives consumers a full description of the coffee they are drinking. The Thank My Farmer app will be used to provide traceability for the 1850 Coffee brand, which will be the first in the U.S. to use the app.

The app will make it easy for coffee drinkers to trace their coffee back to its country of origin and learn about efforts to help farmers in coffee-growing regions. Consumers can get information on the supply chain and production by scanning the QR code on the bag of coffee using a smartphone.

On QR code scanning, consumers will be routed to the Thank My Farmer website, which provides information about which bean is used, where it was grown, processed and exported, the location and when it was roasted and the ports they were shipped to and beyond.

The coffee supply chain is complex given that green coffee is produced by more than 25 million smallholder farmers, as opposed to the larger farms that are associated with delivering the majority of other commodities.

Blockchain will help establish an immutable, transparent environment for transactions among the members of the coffee supply chain ecosystem, including growers, logistics providers, traders, brand owners, retailers, regulators, and consumers.

This deal is part of a larger partnership in September 2019 between Farmer Connect and a consortium of companies from the global coffee supply chain, which included J.M. Smucker, the Colombian Coffee Growers Federation, , ITOCHU Corp., JACOBS DOUWE EGBERTS (JDE), RGC Coffee, Beyers Koffie, and Sucafina.

In April this year, Swiss food major Nestlé extended the use of IBM Blockchain to apply blockchain technology to track Zoégas coffee brand to similarly provide coffee lovers greater transparency on the product. Nestlé also previously used IBM Blockchain to track Maggi's Mousline puree and the GUIGOZ Bio 2 and 3 organic infant milk range.

The use of blockchain for food provenance is expected to help reduce food fraud, including mislabeled, diluted or substituted foodstuffs.

A recent IBM Institute for Business Value study found that 73 percent of consumers will pay a premium for full transparency into the products they buy.

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