Nestlé added its Zoégas coffee brand to the IBM Food Trust blockchain and partnered with Rainforest Alliance to strengthen the traceability of coffee data.
The journey of the beans in a QR code
The food giant announced the news for the first time in a post Monday. He will add the QR codes to the packaging of the Zoégas "Summer 2020" coffee product, sold in Sweden.
When scanned, these codes will show consumers the journey of their beans from the moment of harvest to the shelf, with the documentation stored on IBM's food tracking blockchain. IBM Food Trust will obtain part of this data from the Rainforest Alliance's non-profit sustainable product certification and the rest from Nestlé.
Nestlè's change of course in favor of transparency
This marks a change of position for the food multinational, which had "limited" the data of the third-party supply chain in previous QR code tracking campaigns.
"Until now we have tested the best way to distribute IBM Food Trust internally within the company in parallel with current systems," said a Nestlé spokesman. "We first had to build a solid knowledge base and know-how on our implementation, and then link our data to other organizations for an end-to-end vision."
After three years of testing on IBM Food Trust and with two product launches behind it in open-data-product mode, Nestlé felt that Food Trust was ready to accommodate multiple data sources, a sentiment shared by Nestlé spokesman. "[IBM Food Trust] It certifies many of our coffees, but it was also very open to innovation to provide this information to consumers in a different way, "said the spokesman.
The fundamental commitment of Rainforest Alliance
Nestlé said the collaboration is not a major technical challenge as IBM Food Trust has become "mature enough" and Rainforest Alliance was willing to invest time and effort to make it work.
Rainforest Alliance has experience in tracking products related to coffee production with blockchain systems as a customer of the supply chain software company ChainPoint. (ChainPoint is separate from the open source Chainpoint protocol).
Nestlé's previous Northern European blockchain product insurers ensure that Zoégas will be well received by the Swedes, the spokesman said. He declined to declare the exact number of consumers who scanned previous QR code campaigns, "but so far we have seen a great deal of involvement."
An increasingly widespread trend
Coffee traceable via blockchain is a marketing trend that is found in the coffee industry and in the world. Starbucks is working with the Microsoft Azure blockchain to provide its consumers with "from field to cup" information, as well as media companies and IBM supported GrainChain, which debuted with a coffee tracking app in January.