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Nestlé to use IBM blockchain for traceability of Zoégas coffee


After trialing blockchain for several of its products, Nestlé is now using the IBM Food Trust enterprise blockchain for traceability of its Zoégas coffee brand. The Swiss multinational has partnered with The Rainforest Alliance to certify coffee beans entering its supply chain from farms in South America. 

Zoégas is a specialized dark roast coffee and has bricks and mortar stores in Sweden. It is one of the oldest coffee producers in the country and was acquired by Nestlé in 1986.

The company has launched select editions of Zoégas whole beans and roast and ground coffee in Sweden. Among these, the ‘Summer 2020’ range will be certified by Rainforest Alliance for its blend of arabica coffee beans from Brazil, Rwanda, and Colombia. 

Rather than Nestlé providing provenance details itself, it is enabling third-party certification for this initiative. 

Zoégas coffee will come with QR code, which can be scanned by the consumers to trace the coffee beans to their origin. Zoégas has a factory in Helsingborg, where the beans are roasted, ground, and packed. The IBM Food Trust blockchain will record information about the farmers, time of harvest, transaction certificate for the specific shipments, as well as the roasting period.

Nestlé is probably the most significant player in the at-home coffee sector and has the flagship brand Nescafe. It also owns the two major pod coffee brands Nespresso, as well as competitor Nescafé Dolce Gusto. 

The Swiss firm is among the early adopters of blockchain for traceability in supply chain operations. Last year, its ‘Chain of Origin’ initiative was nominated for IDC Digital Transformation Awards. It is also one of the founding members of IBM Food Trust, which has now garnered global attention and partnerships. Currently, the company is using IBM’s blockchain platform to track and trace an infant milk formula and Mousline instant mashed potato.

Meanwhile, Nestlé is also participating in OpenSC, a sustainable supply chain initiative founded by WWF Australia and the Boston Consulting Group Digital Ventures. The company is using the OpenSC platform to track the supply of New Zealand milk to Nestlé factories in the Middle East, and for verifying the sustainability of palm oil used in Nestlé products. 

Among similar initiatives, startup Farmers Connect launched a solution based on the IBM Food Trust platform. Its members include Colombian Coffee Growers Federation, ITOCHU Corporation, the J.M. Smucker Company, Jacobs Douwe Egberts (JDE), RGC Coffee, Beyers Koffie and Sucafina.