Nescafe is synonymous with a morning caffeing kick for consumers across the globe, which is why fake Nestle coffee spotted in German markets last year sounded an alarm. For India, counterfeit products are causing a dent of Rs 1 lakh crore in the local economy, creating an urge to flag fake products. Technology can play an instrumental role in monitoring supply chains, to keep an eye on coffee beans and grains, right from their origins to warehouses and storefronts.
Brand protection and consumer engagement technology company Acviss Technologies has developed a “no internet” blockchain-based traceability application for the Coffee Board of India. This app is designed to protect coffee production from counterfeiting. The Coffee Board of India has been working with marginalized tribal coffee growers to help them improve their farm productivity and quality. With the introduction of this anti-counterfeiting technology, farmers have been able to benefit from higher incomes in their farm produce.
Blockchain is a Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) that is immutable and completely decentralized by the use of cryptographic hashing that makes it difficult to tamper. With the help of this, Acviss Technologies developed a special label for the Coffee Board of India. This label was then applied to the coffee packages to digitize the physical bags. This bag, when moved from one stage to another, records each and every transaction that happened in the whole supply chain. This whole development can then be viewed on a smartphone where the consumer gets complete visibility of the product details on the marketplace.
In the last few years, the demand for differentiated coffees with traceability features has been increasing across the world and the differentiated coffees which can be traced back to their source can help obtain a premium for these coffee farmers. Commenting on this, Vikas Jain, Founder, of Acviss Technologies, said, “It has been a pleasure creating a solution for the Coffee Board of India, we've not only built something innovative but we've also tried to make it accessible and helpful for the common man, the app we have created is very simple and does not require Wifi for farmers to scan. It's a very easy and user-friendly app created first and foremost for the benefit of farmers''
Acviss Tech's app also helps farmers to generate stable income and protects them from any collateral damage with the help of automated payments, insurance, and financing as there is no middleman involved. For the end users, this app also helps consumers by providing authenticated certifications ensuring that the bought product is safe for consumption.
Talking about this implementation, the officials of the Coffee Board of India, said, “We have worked with Acviss to develop a blockchain solution that has been implemented in Karnataka and we have been very satisfied with the output. With this solution, the farmers have been able to gain benefits. Their incomes have gone up by about 43 percent because of this traceability app.”
With this application, coffee procured by these tribal farmers can now be traced from the grower to the consumer. Coffee parameters like moisture, weight, type and outturn captured at source farms are mentioned. Along with this, certification data is also available for each sample collected. To build consumer confidence, this app also displays the farm locations and the farmer data.
Coffee has become an increasingly common target for food fraudsters, with low-quality ground coffee beans adulterated with filler ingredients such as corn, barley, wheat, soybeans, rice, beans, acai seed, brown sugar, or starch syrup. One of the main drivers has been a reduction in coffee bean output due to poor harvests in some key producers.