Coffee production is notoriously complex and involves countless middlemen, each taking a piece of the pie along the way. Coffee farmers and producing economies are always at the short end of the stick.
Currently, only 2% of the added value of every cup of coffee ends up in the pockets of coffee producers.
Without a doubt, blockchain has the potential to turn the coffee industry on its head and bring about a revolution in transparency that certification programmes cannot currently offer.
At Moyee Coffee, we are already working to bring balance back to the global coffee chain. As of this month, we have moved from a conversation about the potential benefits of blockchain to partners in the world’s first blockchain coffee project.
Since the November 2017, we have been running a pilot blockchain coffee project in Ethiopia with blockchain pioneersbext360 and theFairChain Foundation to prove more than ever that coffee is capable of leading the way to a more honest, fairer society.
The first ‘block’ in the chain followed real-time payments to Ethiopian farmers for their coffee cherries. This is nothing less than a revolution and the start of a project that will bring an unprecedented level of transparency in a profoundly unfair industry.
The bext360 blockchain project has been progressing since November and will mean shortly Moyee’s coffee will be fully blockchain-traceable from the washing station in Ethiopia to our retail and office customers in Europe.
The bext360 platform gives all stakeholders — farmers, roasters, and consumers — access to data across the entirety of the supply chain. This data enables complete analysis of the supply chain to identify supply chain efficiencies.
For consumers, bext360 provides unprecedented levels of transparency around origin and quality; and allowing, for the first time, a coffee drinker in Europe to pull up this data and verify exactly where their coffee was sourced.
At the point of collection, the bext360 platform instantly creates cryptotokens, which represent the value of the commodity.
As the commodity flows through the entire supply chain, new tokens are automatically created. These tokens increase in value as the beans move through the supply chain. This step-by-step process makes the entire chain transparent, and makes sharing the value added easier.
It was bext360’s tokenization technology that caught the interest of the FairChain Foundation and Moyee founder,Guido van Staveren, in the first place.
Currently patent-pending, this technology promises drastic reductions in the transaction costs of global commodities. Bext360’s tokens can be used for inventory valuation and to streamline the certification processes by reducing paperwork and physical inspectors, which can cost up to €0.80 per a pound of coffee.
The bext360 platform provides full transparency which can eliminate this costly part of the supply chain.
Tony Winters, a member of Beerchain, a Dublin-based blockchain meetup, recently summed up the main benefit that blockchain technology provides in just one word: Trust.
Many coffee certification schemes, while well-meaning, simply do not provide the transparency that coffee consumers are demanding. Nor, in many cases, are they having the impact that they claim.
Blockchain literally connects you with our farmers. With blockchain, the coffee industry suddenly has no more secrets. And by getting rid of all the unnecessary middlemen, our farmers receive more money.
Moyee Coffee is a social business supplying Ethiopian-roasted speciality coffee to offices, independent retailers and online subscribers in Ireland. Along with its partners in Amsterdam and Addis Ababa it aims to radically transform the coffee industry and create a true 50/50 partnership with coffee-producing countries.