As revealed by Microsoft, the Seattle, Washington-based coffee giant plans to use blockchain technology which underpins Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. It will use the blockchain platform, Microsoft Azure, to develop the coffee tracking platform. It is done to monitor the journey of the coffee right from farms to stores and until it reaches the coffee cup of the customer. The main objective is to connect the people who drink coffee with the people who grow the coffee.
Microsoft Azure refers to a set of cloud services which help build, manage, and deploy applications on a massive, global network with the help of tools and frameworks. It is Microsoft’s public cloud computing platform. It offers a range of services for analytics, storage, networking, and computing.
Starbucks has partnered with Microsoft to use its Azure blockchain service, which will help in tracking coffee shipments from across the globe. According to an announcement from Microsoft, this will bring “digital, real-time traceability” to its supply chains and will help record the complete changes which occur during the journey of the coffee on a shared ledger. Such a tracking system gives participants a “more complete view” of the supply chain.
Starbucks is a marketer, roaster, and retailer of coffee. It sells a wide range of coffee and tea products and licenses its landmarks through channels such as grocery, foodservice accounts, and licensed stores. It was founded on 4 November 1985 and in addition to its Starbucks coffee brand, it also sells goods and services under various brand names such as Evolution Fresh, Teavana, Tazo, Seattle’s Best Coffee, Ethos, and La Boulange. The Starbucks store offers a wide range of coffee and tea related products, juices, bottled water, and an assortment of snack offerings and fresh food.
Michelle Burns, Senior Vice President of Global Coffee & Tea at Starbucks mentioned, “I firmly believe that by empowering farmers with knowledge and data through technology, we can support them in ultimately improving their livelihoods.” Burns also stated that “This kind of transparency offers customers the chance to see that the coffee they enjoy from us is the result of many people caring deeply.”
This app will inform consumers of how Starbucks supports these growers. Burns also added that the firm is currently talking to coffee farmers in Rwanda, Columbia, and Costa Rica to understand the best possible way in which the project can benefit them. Starbucks is working with the Bakkt digital assets and bitcoin futures platform. This platform is being developed by Intercontinental Exchange, which is the parent firm of the New York Stock Exchange.
Starbucks is looking to create practical, trusted, and regulated applications, which will help consumers convert digital assets into U.S. dollars. Starbucks has not yet revealed the date on which it will launch the new service, but it has shown the demo of the concept of digital traceability to the shareholders at the annual meeting of Starbucks held in March.
Starbucks plans to develop a feature for its mobile app which will provide customers information such as the origin of the coffee beans, where it grows, how Starbucks supports the farmers of those regions, tasting notes, place and time of roasting, and much more. Starbucks is now heavily investing in digital innovation. This Azure-powered blockchain service will help supply chain participants in tracking the movement of their coffee from the coffee bean to the final bag.