Agriculture commodities on blockchain

Tracking commodities like coffee, cocoa, palm oil and olive oil that come from small producers, located in less developed countries without strong regulation, is extremely difficult. Resulting visibility gaps in highly complex commodity supply chains make it hard for manufacturers to address pressing issues around environmental and economic sustainability, labor, fraud and sourcing authentication.

34 companies

comprising roughly 85% of cocoa usage worldwide have released individual action plans for improving sustainability and transparency.

Source: World Resources Institute


of the companies purchasing palm oil could report what percentage of their supply was certified sustainable.

Source: Food Logistics


of consumers say that knowing where food comes from is very-to-somewhat important.

Source: International Food Information Council

How can IBM Food Trust help?

IBM Food Trust™ understands the challenges associated with sourcing agriculture commodities in a global marketplace. We are dedicated to driving end-to-end supply chain visibility from farm to consumer, empowering sustainable farming, assuring ethical sourcing practices and helping prevent fraud.

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Providing proof of origin and accelerated tracking

The Trace module enables end-to-end supply chain visibility, upstream or downstream. Know the provenance of commodities, view their status or location at any point in the supply chain, and verify supplier information.

Building brand trust and consumer loyalty

The Consumer module shares the journey of food ingredients from the farm to the finished product, along with product details and ingredient sourcing information. Connect shoppers to specific, permissioned information that helps influence buying decisions, such as origin, quality and sustainability.

Enabling reliable documentation across the supply chain

In the agriculture commodities industry, an increasing number of organizations offer certification of origin, quality and sustainability. The Documents module allows users to upload, manage, edit and share these and other documents to improve information management, ensure responsible sourcing and demonstrate other differentiating criteria.

Ensuring freshness, reducing waste and fraud

Leveraging blockchain and IoT technology, our Insights capabilities module can provide real-time supply chain data, which can enable unprecedented visibility around inventory flow, average dwell time, time-since-harvest and more.

Use case

Empowering brands to trace single-origin coffee from farm to cup

Coffee drinkers today consume more than half a trillion cups per year, and as many as two-thirds of consumers aged 19-24 surveyed say they prefer to buy coffee that is sustainably grown and responsibly sourced. But the large, global supply chain makes tracing coffee difficult. Once grown, beans make several stops, including at coops, exporters, shippers, importers, roasters, distributors, and retailers before finally reaching the consumer.

Farmer Connect is employing a digital identity app with farmers, a mobile app called “Thank My Farmer” with consumers, and the blockchain technology behind IBM Food Trust to allow coffee drinkers to trace their coffee from farm to cup. Consumers scan a QR code on the coffee package, and the “Thank My Farmer” app pulls information directly from the blockchain. It connects the user to farmers, traders, roasters and brands. The information is presented on an interactive map, allowing each product to tell a story in a simple and scalable way. The "Thank My Farmer" app also presents sustainability projects in coffee communities and an opportunity for consumers to support them.

Developed with leading companies across the global supply chain including Beyers Koffie, The Colombian Coffee Growers Federation (FNC), ITOCHU Corporation, Jacobs Douwe Egberts (JDE), The J.M. Smucker Company, Rabobank, RGC Coffee, Volcafe, Sucafina and Yara International, Farmer Connect launched in early 2020 with two single-origin coffee brands, one available in Europe and one in the U.S. and Canada. As the program expands, large and small companies will be invited to join to create a closed-loop circular economy that will enhance smallholder livelihoods while delivering transparency and a better experience for the consumer.

J.M. Smucker and 1850 Coffee® join Farmer Connect

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