Farmer Connect’s app ‘Thank My Farmer’, supported by IBM, will help coffee connoisseurs to trace the origin of their brew

Farmer Connect

Image: Farmer Connect launches new app to trace coffee. (Credit: Pixabay/Negative-Space)

Farmer Connect and IBM have showcased a new mobile application ‘Thank My Farmer’ at the 2020 Consumer Electronics Show (CES).

The app allows coffee consumers to trace their coffee to its origin, understand its quality and even support the farmer who grew the bean crop. The app was developed with the help of companies in the global supply chain such as The Colombian Coffee Growers Federation (FNC), BeyersKoffie, ITOCHU Corporation, The J.M. Smucker Company, Jacobs Douwe Egberts (JDE), Volcafe, Rabobank, Sucafina, RGC Coffee and Yara International.

Powered by IBM Blockchain, Farmer Connect has been designed to help enhance traceability, fairness and efficiency in the coffee supply chain.

It is estimated that more than half a trillion cups of coffee is being consumed by coffee drinkers annually. According to a survey conducted on consumers aged between 19 and 24,the young consumers preferred their coffee to be grown sustainably and sourced responsibly.

With today’s huge global supply chain, backtracking the coffee trail is a difficult task. Once grown, the beans are forced to stop over several times, such as at co-ops, exporters, shippers, importers, roasters, distributors and retailers before reaching their final destination—the consumer.

Product information is at best fragmented, as each participant can track only their part of the coffee beans’ journey, using their own data logging system.

Using blockchain all parties involved in the coffee supply chain can be traced

But now, consumers who hope to close the gap between the coffee that they consume and the farmer who grew their coffee, have a solution, through blockchain technology.

The consumer-facing ‘Thank My Farmer’ app can pull information directly from the blockchain (for use across the industry) and connect consumers to the whole coffee path, starting with the farmers and ending with the brands. All the while, the whole information can be accessedby the coffee drinker on an interactive map.

The app also presents sustainability projects, providing an opportunity for coffee consuming communities to support them.

Farmer Connect founder and president David Behrends said: “The aim is humanizing each coffee drinker’s relationship with their daily cup. Consumers now can play an active role in sustainability governance by supporting coffee farmers in developing nations. Through the blockchain and this consumer app, we’re creating a virtuous cycle.”