1850® Coffee Brand and Farmer Connect to Bring Coffee Lovers and Producers Closer Together Using IBM Blockchain Technology

rand will be the first in United States to use Thank My Farmer app to make it easy for coffee drinkers to trace their coffee back to its country of origin and learn about efforts to help farmers in coffee-growing regions

1850® Coffee, a J. M. Smucker Company brand, in partnership with Farmer Connect, is pioneering a new era in coffee transparency through its 100% Colombian Coffee bagged offering. Leveraging IBM’s blockchain technology, consumers can now trace their coffee back to its region of origin on a platform designed to help increase traceability, efficiency and fairness in the coffee supply chain.

By easily scanning a QR code on the bag of coffee, their device will route them to the Thank My Farmer website, which provides information about where the coffee was grown, processed and exported, and the location of its roast. They can also learn more about Farmer Connect projects underway to support coffee producers and their families in Colombia such as providing clean drinking water for schools; coffee seedlings for smallholder farms; school supplies for local schools; and sustainable water and agriculture initiatives. This comes at a time when more consumers are taking a purpose-driven approach to their shopping patterns and purchasing products that more closely align with their values. According to the IBM Institute for Business Value, for those who say sustainability is very important, 71% surveyed are willing to pay a premium for sustainable and environmentally responsible brands.

“We know that consumers are increasingly interested in transparency in the supply chains for the products they enjoy and we have been committed to helping promote this as part of our coffee sustainability strategy,” said Joe Stanziano, senior vice president and general manager of coffee at The J.M. Smucker Company. “Our work with Farmer Connect and IBM not only helps connect coffee lovers to the producers who provide their favorite morning drink, it also gives them the opportunity to support these hardworking smallholder farmers and their families.”

The coffee supply chain is complex given that green coffee is produced by more than 25 million smallholder farmers, as opposed to the larger farms that are associated with delivering the majority of other commodities.  Through the blockchain platform, consumers can have access to unprecedented transparency and can participate in a global circular economy where consumers can be directly involved in the agricultural communities that produce their food and drink through donations made to farmers and communities.

This transparency is achieved by using blockchain to record data about supply chain events in the coffee’s journey; including which beans were used, when they were roasted, ports they were shipped to and beyond. Information about these events is recorded on an immutable ledger, creating increased accountability for coffee producers and their supply chain partners and helping ensure products are what they say they are.

“Working with The J. M. Smucker Company has been a remarkable opportunity to shine a brighter light on the work of the farmers who grow the beans,” said IBM Food Trust general manager Raj Rao. “By combining blockchain and other technologies, we can give coffee drinkers the tools they need to feel connected to the region where their coffee comes from and even support the farmers and local communities through donations that impact local organizations and schools.”

1850 100% Colombian bagged coffee is a bold, yet smooth blend of premium Colombian Arabica beans. It has a lively and full-bodied taste that’s unique to Colombian coffee. It’s available at Amazon, Meijer and other retailers throughout the United States and Canada.

About The J. M. Smucker Company

Inspired by more than 120 years of business success and five generations of family leadership, The J. M. Smucker Company makes food that people and pets love. The Company’s portfolio of 40+ brands, which are found in 90 percent of U.S. homes and countless restaurants, include iconic products consumers have always loved such as Folgers®, Jif® and Milk-Bone® plus new favorites like Café Bustelo®, Smucker’s® Uncrustables® and Rachael Ray® Nutrish®. Over the past two decades, the Company has grown rapidly by thoughtfully acquiring leading and emerging brands, while ensuring the business has a positive impact on its 7,000+ employees, the communities it is a part of and the planet. For more information about The J. M. Smucker Company, visit jmsmucker.com.

The J. M. Smucker Company is the owner of all trademarks referenced herein, except for the following, which is used under license:  Rachael Ray® is a registered trademark of Ray Marks Co. LLC.

About IBM

IBM is recognized as the leading enterprise blockchain provider. The company’s research, technical and business experts have broken barriers in transaction processing speeds, developed the most advanced cryptography to secure transactions, and are contributing millions of lines of open source code to advance blockchain for businesses. IBM is the leader in open-source blockchain solutions built for the enterprise. Since 2016, IBM has worked with hundreds of clients across financial services, supply chain, government, retail, digital rights management and healthcare to implement blockchain applications, and operates a number of networks running live and in production. The cloud-based IBM Blockchain Platform delivers the end-to-end capabilities that clients need to quickly activate and successfully develop, operate, govern and secure their own business networks. IBM is an early member of Hyperledger, an open-source collaborative effort created to advance cross-industry blockchain technologies. For more information about IBM Blockchain, visit https://www.ibm.com/blockchain/ or follow us on Twitter at @ibmblockchain.

About Farmer Connect

Farmer Connect is an industry-led initiative with the vision to humanize consumption through technology. Our solutions of supply chain digitization are designed to support increased traceability, efficiency, and sustainability in coffee and cacao supply chains globally. Leveraging dat we enable farmers and small businesses while reducing costs and inefficiencies for global enterprises. We do that through several emerging technologies, such as blockchain, self-sovereign identity, and artificial intelligence – keeping it simple. Our partners include some of the world’s top coffee organizations such as; Beyers Koffie, The Colombian Coffee Growers Federation (FNC), ITOCHU Corporation, Jacobs Douwe Egberts (JDE), The J.M. Smuckers Company, Rabobank, RGC Coffee, Volcafe, Sucafina, and Yara International.  

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