Coffee & IT, the Ultimate Blend

According the Fairtrade Foundation, nearly 125 million people globally depend on coffee for their livelihoods. After crude oil, coffee is the second most traded commodity with 80% of it being produced by some 25 million small farmers. Most farmers don’t have a view as to where their coffee is being sold and for what price. Thus, there came a need for fair trade organizations to certify standards that would give transparency, open dialogue and respect to the coffee producers. This guarantees that the producers receive the fair trade minimum price for their coffee, allowing them to cover their production costs.

This week Blockchain followers got a “latte” of a good news. Bext360, a Denver based start-up has made it easier for coffee farmers to get that fair price for their beans and compensated instantly by using Blockchain technology. The company has built a robot that assesses the quality of the coffee bean and an app that tracks the sales process. In doing so, the farmer knows a fair price was paid and where the crop went.

You may be asking…

What is Blockchain?

Mastek Ltd (our parent company) highlighted Blockchain in a recent blog post; discussing its use in the financial industry. Essentially, Blockchains are ledgers, think Excel spreadsheets or a Google Doc. They accept input from many different parties and are very difficult to modify as you need all parties included in the blockchain to agree to the changes before they can happen. This makes Blockchains secure. Today, Blockchain technology is used as a digital ledger for virtually everything of value.

Why use Blockchain?

By using Blockchain, the producer has a “digital wallet”. Each producer is able to make secure and transparent transactions with payments made directly to them once their product is sold – eliminating the intermediary and fees that may apply. It also satisfies the need to track goods from their point of origin. This gives consumers insight into where their product came from and allows for the producer to have business intelligence around how their product is used, its environmental impact and much more.