How many of you begin your day with a hot brewing cup of coffee? Most of us…. right? With approximately 70 beans getting into a cup of coffee, what practically might be their journey from farm to your cup? Have you ever wondered? Perhaps…No. In fact, by the time that refreshing brew enters your mouth, it has already traversed a vast journey of its own. So, while you are happy savoring your hot black coffee or an invigorating espresso considering it to be authentic single-origin coffee as stated on the labels, you have perhaps become a victim of intentional substitution or adulteration, made for the sake of economic gain.
Tracking the provenance of the coffee beans that’s going into your cup thus becomes extremely important as proving the provenance can pave way for sustainably sourced products. Blockchain – A decentralized, distributed ledger technology can prove to be extremely beneficial in verifying location data for differentiating authentic single-origin coffee from simply marketing buzz. Furthermore, since, coffee changes many hands, passes through several geographies, and numerous logistics processes before getting into your cup of coffee, it can well be assumed that the coffee supply chain ecosystem has become extremely complex.
Now, with such a complex supply chain ecosystem, managing and monitoring all the steps in a way that delights the end customers becomes extremely difficult. However, given the increasing demands of assurance on coffee quality and greater equity to farmers, the need for having a transparent supply chain ecosystem has increased significantly. This requires documenting every stage of its journey right from barn to brew in a transparent way. Integrating Blockchain along with IoT into the coffee supply chain will revolutionize the coffee supply chain in a way that would benefit both the end-users, as well as the growers (farmers) alike.
In fact, this track and trace technology along with IoT based sensors will drive positive impact to every participant of the supply chain by sharing real-time data about the journey of coffee beans from barn to your kitchen counter. This data that gets stored on the Blockchain can be accessed by each participant in the network providing each one of them with a transparent picture of the transactions taking place. Furthermore, data stored on the Blockchain network is immutable and is timestamped with hashes, which does away with the problems associated with data security and privacy.
The data collected can be analyzed not just for assessing quality of coffee beans or efficiency of farming practices but also for real-time analysis of supply chain dynamics for creating efficiencies and better business opportunities. So, it wouldn’t be wrong to infer that in the near future ‘Blockchain will make its’ way to everybody’s cup of coffee’.