BlockchainIn A Coffee Mug

Good coffee is more than just a drink - it’s an art. And coffee connoisseurs (distributors, retailers and consumers alike) want to be sure of the authenticity of the art they buy. But given the complex supply chain and the number of stakeholders involved in getting coffee from the farm to the cup, it is almost impossible to ascertain the lineage, health and origin of your coffee.

Too many cooks...

The supply chain process of coffee beans typically contains seven levels: Growing, harvesting, hulling, drying and packing, bulking, blending, and roasting. The actual supply chain is further extended by several intermediaries, including global transporters as well as exporters and retailers. As a result, the coffee beans make several stops before arriving at their final destination, be it from crop to drying station or from individual farmers to processors and roasters. The greater the number of intermediaries, more the chances of records and logistics going awry.

Possibilities of error and fraud

Coffee beans leave an extensive paper trail behind them. There are certifications, receipts, shipping documents, import papers, and the list goes on. Manual documents carry a high risk of errors and are not tamper proof. This often raises questions about the authenticity of the lineage of coffee.

Low acceptance rates

Thanks to an extensive and paper-intensive supply chain, coffee distributors are often laden with doubts about the precise lineage of coffee. As a result, the acceptance rates of coffee beans are typically low. This leads to downstream process inefficiencies and adversely impacts planning.

Finding the Real Problem

Too many certifications mean the current process is unreliable and highly vulnerable to intended and unintended errors. What if we made this data tamper proof and centralized? What if it can be "blockchain-ed"?


Enter Infosys Blockchain - via a Design Thinking-led assessment for use case identification. We brought in a distributed and permissioned ledger to build trust into the entire supply chain - right from producers, certifiers, insurers and shipping agents to importers. With Blockchain, the relevant stakeholders can track the journey of the products (origin, movement, use of material) across the supply chain and access information in near real time. Stakeholders can also accredit and certify certain properties of produce like organic or fair trade, enabling importers to determine that the produce is in compliance with sustainability standards and certifications.

The Outcomes

  • Higher acceptance rates of coffee beans, leading to smooth functioning across the ecosystem.
  • Tamper-proof certification to reduce misinformation and fraud.
  • Ready availability of detailed and trusted information about provenance to command higher premium.
  • Reduced errors by reducing paper-based documentation.
  • High security through gradual progression from a centralized data store to a distributed data store.
  • Real-time visibility of the entire supply chain, leading to faster collection of sales proceeds.
  • Real-time payments to coffee growers.