Publication type: Conference other
Type of review: Peer review (abstract)
Title: Blockchain in agro-food business : boosting transparency and trust in the coffee value chain with distributed ledgers
Authors: Itten, René
Jattke, Marleen
Stucki, Matthias
Lütolf, Patrick
Gassmann, Roland
et. al: Yes
Conference details: 2nd Life Cycle Innovation Conference (LCIC), Online, 26-28 August 2020
Issue Date: 27-Aug-2020
Language: English
Subjects: Blockchain; Distributed ledger; Coffee; Life cycle assessment
Subject (DDC): 333.7: Land, natural recreational areas
338: Production
Abstract: Problem and Aim Global food value chains, such as coffee, are complex systems, which pose major challenges in terms of product transparency. New approaches are needed to give farmers and consumers more transparency as well as co-determination. The blockchain technology offers many opportunities to address these challenges. The aim of the coffee blockchain is to show the possibilities, opportunities and limits of the distributed ledger technology in the agro-food business for automated Life Cycle Inventory modelling as well as explore new approaches for co-determination within the coffee value chain. Method A blockchain for the coffee value chain will be designed, implemented and tested in cooperation with the coffee processor Delica and the coffee trader Volcafe. Additionally, we make use of an already digitised data collection system developed by Volcafe using an agronomic coaching programme to collect information on agricultural practices of individual coffee farmers. The blockchain technology will enable simplified data management, partial automation of data collection and individualised Life Cycle Inventory modelling for actors within the supply chain. Results The first major innovation aspect of the coffee blockchain is an improved digitisation process of relevant information on the quality and sustainability of coffee. The information on the cultivation provided by Volcafe is complemented with data on processing as well as logistics and recorded in the coffee blockchain. This data then can be used to create partly automated up-to-date Life Cycle Inventory models of individual coffee farms. The second major innovation aspect is the possibility for consumers and retailers to obtain transparent sustainability information on their coffee using QR codes. Besides the exchange of information, the coffee blockchain brings the consumer and the producer closer together. With the coffee blockchain, the consumers will have the possibility to support the farmers directly or specific community driven projects within the coffee value chain. These transactions will be verified using the blockchain. In this way, the coffee blockchain will help to increase the earnings of the farmers and incentivize a more equal distribution of the added value within the value chain. Discussion Blockchain poses a number of challenges to benefit from the technology. In order to achieve high data quality, errors in data entry must be avoided with the combined use of automated quality checks and smart digitized data collection systems. Another challenge is to balance the confidentiality of the data with the accessibility of the blockchain technology.
Fulltext version: Published version
License (according to publishing contract): Licence according to publishing contract
Departement: Life Sciences and Facility Management
Organisational Unit: Institute of Natural Resource Sciences (IUNR)
Published as part of the ZHAW project: Die Kaffee Blockchain – Vom Feld zur Tasse
Appears in collections:Publikationen Life Sciences und Facility Management

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