The Consumer Electronics Show in was held on January 6th in Las Vegas , where IBM and Farmer Connect (an agriculture organization promoting transparency and sustainability) demoed a new blockchain based app which lets customers learn about the coffee beans they purchase.
As the blockchain news show, the founder and president of Farmer Connect, David Behrends, spoke about the initiative and told media outlets that “Thank My Farmer” is an app which provides consumers with an interactive map to show the journey of their coffee by scanning a QR code. He further noted:
“After scanning a QR-code, consumers are taken straight to a product page that gives details about the coffee they are drinking. Below that description is an interactive map that shows the journey the coffee has taken. We say you can travel the world through a cup of coffee, and we’d like to help consumers visualize that.”
The Thank My Farmer app is powered by IBM’s blockchain technology. In fact, IBM and Fair Trade Initiative create a permanent digitized chain of transactions that cannot be altered – tracking every step of a coffee bean’s journey.
According to the IBM Worldwide Blockchain Leader, every participant involved on the Thank My Farmer network has an exact copy of the transaction data and the additions to the blockchain are shared throughout the network based on every participant and their level of permission. All of this helps IBM and Fair Trade Initiative to interact more efficiently with its users on the app, all while providing consumers with the right insights about the origins of the coffee products.
As a result of this, Behrends also said that consumers will be able to see the exact locations of the farms where their coffee was grown – in line with the steps that the coffee bean underwent before arriving to the specific store.
“If we have geolocation of farmers, those farms will appear on the map. If we don’t have this information, we show the steps the coffee underwent. For instance, coffee starts off as a cherry, the beans get taken out of the cherry and are washed and dried. Each step is performed in different segments before the product goes to ports of export and import. Consumers can click on the interactive map to learn more about how coffee has been sourced, traveled and transformed.”
The app designed by IBM and Fair Trade is going to debut to the general market at the beginning of 2020, and users in the US and Canada will be the first to scan the QR codes and see the origins of their cofee.
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