Most coffee exporters process the beans elsewhere and among other things, price fluctuations make the business an uphill battle for farmers. Despite the business being a very lucrative one, most farmers in the area are left at the bottom of the earning chain.
More so, “One reason why buyers from faraway places or different countries go through middlemen is because they rely on them to make sure farmers are following these good practices,” says Vijay Kandy whose company will build the blockchain platform.
Co-founder of Moyee Coffee Killian Stokes said “It’s the world’s favorite drink. We drink over 2 billion cups a day,” and being a huge industry, it’s rather bizarre that farmers are treated the worst. “The industry’s worth USD 100 billion and yet 90 percent of coffee farmers in Ethiopia live on less than USD 2 a day,” Stokes added.
In an attempt to bring economic relief to farmers, Moyee created unique digital identities for 350 farmers working with the company. The aim was to create transparency and allow buyers access to how much each farmer was being paid. Despite the prices being 20% higher than market prices, still farmers’ livelihood could still be improved, at least that’s what Moyee thinks since it wants to introduce blockchain to its business.
According to the company’s blog, it had been working on a prototype with bext360 and the FairChain Foundation since November 2017, and said that blockchain will “bring about a revolution in transparency that certification programs cannot currently offer.”
Blockchain continues to offer traceability, transparency, and trust which break barriers in economic distribution, and also promises to be the future technology of supply chain. Further, its underlying asset class – cryptocurrency – creates value as an incentive instrument for most business environments, and now, Moyee intends to apply that logic to the Coffee supply chain.
Blockchain will open up a new economic model for the farmers, allowing buyers to tip farmers, fund projects using a mobile app. Also, every transaction across the supply chain will be logged to the blockchain, ensuring transparency.
In a report by the United Nations’ Food and Agricultural Organization, it concluded that emerging technologies like the blockchain in the agricultural sector shows promise of inclusive market participation for smallholders and Micro, Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (MSMEs).
Blockchain innovations in the agricultural sector transcend technological benefits in managing supply chains alone, however, it has an overwhelming socio-economic impact. “It’s an innovation that is poised to empower local farmers in the Caribbean region,” said Pamela Thomas, executive director of the Agriculture Alliance of the Caribbean (AACARI) referring to the blockchain initiative to be adopted by fruit farmers in the Caribbean.
Apart from economic empowerment, blockchain has phased its way into improving food safety, export security and animal welfare as to be demonstrated by BeefLedger in its partnership with Australia’s National Transport Insurance (NTI) to trial blockchain monitoring of beef handling from Australia to Shanghai.
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