Blockchain in the food supply chain

Scaling-up traceable coffee in Europe becomes a reality with Segafredo Storia

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inside cafeWe truly value the role of Honduran coffee farmers in our business. We invest in their sustainability practices, and we support initiatives that result in higher productivity and income. We also invest in educational and social projects in their communities. Now with Segafredo Storia coffee being tracked using blockchain, they have new and innovative opportunities to develop their businesses.

Premium and Sustainable. That’s what we wanted our new coffee to be when we started out to develop it.

18 months later and Segafredo Storia is here. It’s a premium brand. It’s 100% organic. And — in a major step forward for our industry — customers across no less then 15 markets will be able to trace the full history of their coffee. It’s the first time that consumers can benefit from traceable coffee across so many countries.

Learn how innovative companies and individuals use blockchain for social good

Storia in Italian means both “history” and “story”. The storia of Segafredo Storia begins over 9600 km away from MZBG’s Italian headquarters. In the lush Honduran regions of Lempira and Intibucá, 51 coffee farmers grow the premium Arabica coffee cherries needed for such a quality coffee. And from there the complex journey through the coffee supply chain continues — through mills and ports, through roasteries and shops. And now, the customer can trace each step of the journey by simply scanning the QR code on Segafredo Storia packaging.

It is IBM Blockchain that provides the trust in the story of Segafredo Storia. Because of its secure, tamper proof nature, customers receive true, verified information. They can be reassured that their coffee is 100% Organic certified, and harvested using sustainable practices that are certified by the RainForest Alliance. They can learn about the coffee farmers, their communities and the fair terms they receive for their harvest. Directly on the Segafredo Storia packaging, customers see genuine photos of the people who brought them their quality coffee moment.

Offering full traceability and transparency using blockchain is a new step for us as we work to make our many coffee brands more sustainable. We have made great strides in areas such as sustainable packaging and responsible sourcing. Traceability and transparency will become an essential part of any product’s sustainability. In a 2020 IBM survey, 44% of all Europeans said it would be very valuable to have more information on the farmers who grow their food. A staggering 92% of the Italian consumers say having food traceable on the blockchain would be valuable.

The move to blockchain was made easier by our collaboration with Farmer connect. Farmer connect brings farmers onto their customer-facing supply chain information sharing system that is built around IBM’s blockchain. Because MZBG controls the entire supply chain from the farmer, through to the roastery and even on to our 400 franchised Segafredo Zanetti Cafes, the onboarding process was fairly efficient. Nevertheless, it’s important to ensure that each partner gets a clear explanation of blockchain so that they understand it and have full confidence in it.

Hector MendezFor young farmers like Hector Mendez from Las Mercedes, Intibucá, Segafredo Storia allows him to showcase his efforts to produce sustainable coffee. “We don’t erode the soil, we just use a machete to clean the farmland. We are protecting our soils and use organic fertilizer. We take care of the water sources and native species of plants and animals, and we plant barriers to prevent erosion” says Hector.

A father of two, he farms four varieties of coffee on six hectares with his partner. Working sustainably is a priority, Hector says, to conserve the resources on my farm: the soil, air, the forest and the animals, for the health of my family, to reduce green house gases and for fulfilling quality standards.Hector hopes that farmers’ stories told through Segafredo Storia will help them to “continue to improve and to sell our coffee at better prices worldwide.”

We’ve completed the first chapter of Segafredo Storia. The next chapters will see Segafredo Storia expanding to new markets and bringing farmers from other countries on board. Creating a whole new level of connection with our customers is an exciting time for our company.

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International Sales & Marketing Director, Massimo Zanetti Beverage Group

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