How does Blockchain and Coffee fit together?

CBRC Podcast Highlights #1: Discovering Caffè Barbera: A Coffee Supply Chain Enhanced by Blockchain

Caffè Barbera is a coffee company that started using blockchain to provide more transparency in its supply chain. If you want to listen to the full interview, you can find it on our Spotify podcast or YouTube channel.

In this newsletter, we’ll present the main takeaways of the interview. Hope you’ll enjoy it.

Why Did They Build The Project?

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Caffè Barbera, a historic coffee company from southern Italy, embarked on a journey to ensure transparency and traceability in their global supply chain. With a legacy dating back to 1870, the sixth-generation company wanted to cater to the growing consumer demand for ethically sourced and sustainably grown coffee. Their vision: to create a transparent system that reveals the journey from farm to cup, affirming the integrity and authenticity of their products.

Why Did They Use Blockchain Technology?
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Seeking for transparency, Caffè Barbera chose blockchain technology because it allows the creation of immutable, transparent and decentralized records of transactions. With blockchain, they could document each step of the supply chain, from sourcing green coffee beans to roasting and exporting them. By assigning each batch a unique digital identity, Caffè Barbera could securely trace the coffee’s origins while building trust with suppliers and consumers alike.

Why Did They Learn From The Experience?
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Implementing blockchain in their supply chain has been a learning curve for Caffè Barbera. They realized that success lies not just on technology, but on collaboration and communication. Convincing farmers, suppliers, and logistics partners to adopt the blockchain-based system was challenging, requiring clear incentives and thorough education. Thanks to their collaboration, the system is less centralized and more distributed as each stakeholder involved in the supply chain contributes to the network by inputting information.

What were The Benefits of Using Blockchain?
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First and foremost, definitely transparency and trust. Customers can now access the history of their coffee by scanning QR codes, verifying the ethical and sustainable practices behind each cup. This is of paramount importance in a world where supply chain processes are very opaque, and it is really hard to track exactly the provenance of each product throughout the whole journey. This can lead some stakeholders of the supply chain to cheat or lie about a product’s origins, which is negatively affecting the end consumers.

Furthermore, blockchain makes auditing easier and less costly. Indeed, auditing of the supply chain and the suppliers is a massive expense for retailers and suppliers. With blockchain, information is very easily accessible and verifiable. Improved transparency and immutability grants retailers a better ability to choose trust-worthy suppliers can trade them and use them as interest-bearing collateral.

What Do They See For The Future of Blockchain?
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Caffè Barbera sees blockchain transforming industries by bringing transparency, efficiency, and decentralized solutions. They envision a future where more companies adopt blockchain, not just for supply chains but also for payment systems, smart contracts, and customer loyalty programs. In their own journey, they are exploring new possibilities like internal document management and expanded payment methods using digital currencies and stablecoins.

By making blockchain an integral part of their business, Caffè Barbera is pioneering the coffee industry’s future, leading the way for ethically sourced products that consumers can trust.

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