Carico Café Connoisseur- a Ugandan organization, has planned to incorporate blockchain technology into their coffee supply chain. According to them, it is claimed that those purchasing coffee beans are prepared to pay higher rates if they can trace the coffee back to its original location. This will subsequently allow local coffee suppliers to charge more and as such, pay their farmer’s higher wages.
Carico Café Connoisseur’s CEO Mwambu Wanendeya quoted:
“The idea is to give the consumer an appreciation of what happens on the journey and also to ensure that there are more linkages with the farmer.”
Implementation of blockchain will allow the organization to record every step that the shipment makes, which would include regulatory inspections, distribution warehouses, and cross-sea shipments.
Uganda is the largest exporter of coffee product on the African continent. It is estimated that Uganda currently exports 4.5 million bags of coffee per year. However, the country plans to bring it up to 20 million bags by the year 2025. If blockchain technology can provide higher margins for local farmers, then the development could be humongous.
Uganda has limited processing capacities for the coffee beans, and hence the vast majority of its coffee exports is in the form of raw beans. This makes it difficult for the buyer to determine where the beans originated from.
By using the blockchain technology, Ugandan farmers will be able to provide the details of origin. When the coffee beans reach the customers, they will be able to check for its authenticity by scanning the QR code given using their phones. By scanning the code, the customers will have access to data such as when and where the beans were grown and its grade.
According to Wanendeya, the company has already completed their first shipment. The first shipment carried the Ugandan coffee brand ‘Bugisu Blue’ and successfully made its way to South Africa in December 2018.
Nowadays, large coffee exporters are expected to follow ‘Fair Trade’ principles, which have to be applied to their manufacturing framework, including that of farmer salaries. Companies who have followed the fair trade principle have reported a 24.5% increase in coffee sales.
This incorporation of blockchain technology into the existing Coffee supply chain is still under development. But if coffee enthusiasts are willing to pay extra for the privilege of tracking their purchased coffee beans, then it eases the entire process and makes its execution less tedious, provided the technology can impact the chain efficiently.