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Coffee Giant Starbucks Leverages Blockchain to Track Coffee From Bean to Store

Brian Njuguna   Aug 26, 2020 00:30 2 Min Read


Starbucks intends to boost its customers’ satisfaction by enabling them to trace the entire supply chain of their coffee. The American multinational chain of coffeehouses and roastery reserves has deployed a blockchain tool powered by Microsoft Corp to propel the tracking of coffee from bean to store, according to Bloomberg.

Sharing decade-long data

According to Michelle Burns, the senior vice president at Starbucks, customers purchasing coffee across its stores in the U.S. will be able to use a code on the package to know the source of the beans, the roasting place, and brewing tips from baristas. Furthermore, farmers will be availed with a reverse code that will enable them to track their produce.

The blockchain tool is expected to enable the world’s biggest coffee-shop chain to share traceability data with its customers collected for more than a decade.

Burns noted:

“We have been able to trace every coffee we buy from every farm for almost two decades. That allowed us to have the foundation to now build a user-friendly, consumer-driven tool that certainly provides that trust and confidence to our customers that we know where all of our coffee comes from.”

Conscious millennial consumers

By leveraging on blockchain technology, Starbucks seeks to have a competitive edge attracting sustainably-minded young consumers. They have developed the habit of favoring small craft shops, which roast their coffee in-house.

Millennial consumers are continuously advocating for conscious consumerism because they are attentive to detail on what they eat or drink, for instance, knowing how their food was grown and its origin, and whether it was produced ethically and sustainably.

As a result, many companies like Starbucks are looking outside the box by adopting cutting edge technologies like blockchain for transparency and traceability purposes. In July, American food manufacturer J.M. Smucker Company or Smucker’s unveiled a blockchain-powered system to enhance the tracking of Colombian coffee beans from their source. 


Image source: Shutterstock

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