Firms partner to 'increase fairness across coffee supply chain'

23 June 2021

Dutch retailer HEMA and supplier UCC Coffee Benelux have teamed up to create two traceable single-origin coffees from Colombia and Rwanda.

The companies said the collaboration would help increase transparency, credibility, and fairness across the whole coffee supply chain, as well as build farm-to-consumer trust by providing detailed information about where the product has been sourced.

The Colombian coffee has been supplied by the Colombian Coffee Growers Federation and Volcafe, and the Rwandan coffee by Supremo NV, a subsidiary of ECOM Group. Retailers and consumers can trace the two coffees back to their origins using an app.

The companies said the collaboration would be a roadmap for other operators on how to standardise and aggregate vital information across different supply chains and partners.

Blockchain technology, provided by Farmer Connect, allows retailers and consumers to trace coffee back to its origins by scanning a QR code on the packaging, and seeing the full lifecycle through its ‘Thank My Farmer’ app.

Lian Enting, lead category manager for food at HEMA, said the company wanted to make sure customers had access to products that allowed them to always shop responsibly.

“So far, our work with Farmer Connect has proven incredibly valuable and has been a strong indicator that consumers are shopping more mindfully,” he said. “In fact, now 70% of our range is fully traceable.”

Miguel Reguera, blockchain project leader at UCC Coffee Benelux, said: “We firmly believe that further change can happen if the coffee industry works together as a whole, to promote interaction at both ends of the supply chain, this has the potential to revolutionise not just the coffee industry, but the retail industry too.”

Farmer Connect’s software uses technologies such as blockchain, self-sovereign identity, and artificial intelligence to allow safe and private business data storage and sharing.

Michael Chrisment, CEO of Farmer Connect, said: “This collaboration is an example to the industry that if we work together, we can tackle the issues in our supply chain to make systemic change.”

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