Ugandan Coffee Producer Taps Blockchain to Trace Products

Uganda-based Carico Café Connoisseur has adopted blockchain technology to certify the shipment of its coffee products.

Uganda-based Carico Café Connoisseur has started to implement distributed ledger technology (DLT) to check and certify the traffic of its coffee, according to a Reuters report. The move is meant to satisfy increasing demand from clients for more details on the origin of products. The adoption of blockchain is expected to help farmers generate higher incomes as consumers are ready to pay more for coffee products whose origin can be properly traced.

Blockchain is the innovative database system that underpins most cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin. While many reputable investors and experts do not agree with the utility and real-world benefits of digital currencies, everyone seems to endorse DLT. Tech and banking giants like JPMorgan and IBM have already implemented blockchain for various use cases, with the latter offering a proprietary platform called IBM Blockchain.

Uganda is Africa’s largest exporter of coffee, according to data provided by the International Coffee Organisation. However, the country exports almost all of its beans in raw form, so foreign consumers want more information about the coffee products they buy.

Mwambu Wanendeya, CEO of Carico Café Connoisseur, told Reuters that blockchain had been used for a shipment of its Bugisu Blue product. The shipment, which was several tons, reached South Africa in December 2017.

Potential buyers can trace the coffee’s path by scanning the product’s QR codes with their smartphones or through the certification webpage provenance.org.

Wanendeya commented:

“The idea is to give the consumer an appreciation of what happens on the journey and also to ensure that there’s more linkages with the farmer.”

“Traceability is important because people are increasingly concerned that ... farmers get rewarded for their work,” he added.

Consumers will be able to check basic information, including the type of coffee bean, where it was grown, and when it was harvested.

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