Sustainable AgriTech for the Coffee Supply Chain

As highlighted in a previous post, deforestation and child labour along the coffee supply chain’s first mile undermine its sustainability. That’s why Farmforce has developed a digital tool to let coffee players (exporters, traders, NGOs, cooperatives, and smallholder farmers) benefit from an easier-to-track value chain.

Building the Coffee Supply Chain

To counter the abovementioned problems, Farmforce developed an information management system (Farmforce Origin) to track all the growing activities (e.g., planting, pruning, etc.) happening along the coffee value chain’s first mile. But our software can do more than that to make farm management sustainable.

Farmforce Origin backbone is roughly the same as that used for cocoa coops. However, there are slight differences at the field staff level, which is the core of our food tech. Here you find buyers at the wet mill recording the purchase of delivered coffee cherries. Also, agronomists and internal auditors perform agronomic inspections and certification auditing, respectively.

As mentioned for the cocoa beans supply chain, field personnel can map farmers’ fields by leveraging our supply chain management Software as a Service (SaaS). Our app has a built-in feature for polygon drawing that lets field staff map growing areas for each registered farmer. These are then linked to the farmer’s unique ID number and stored in our data bank. Coffee exporters can overlay the plots with deforested areas from the Global Forest Watch (GFW) database by accessing the field data. By doing so, coffee traders can verify whether growers in their supply chain are contributing to deforestation.

Our software lets stakeholders run Monitoring & Evaluation (M&E) surveys to investigate potential child labour. Also, by linking each farmer with their family members, Farmforce makes it easier to follow up and monitor children at risk of child labour.

Additionally, our AgriTech software stores production quotas and the expected amounts of ripe coffee cherries that farmers can deliver to the wet mill. By checking this information, field staff reduce the risk of purchasing uncertified coffee cherries.

Another crucial benefit of our supply chain traceability solution is to maximise the quality of coffee cherries delivered at the wet mill. Using Farmforce’s “Quality Check,” field operators configure quality parameters such as the percentage of unripe (green) cherries, their pick date, etc. Accordingly, they can manage the quality of coffee cherries purchased at the wet mill. We’ve even seen this tool used to verify and plan production capabilities in other industries, but we know the opportunity for use in the coffee value chain.

Grinding Out A Sustainable Coffee Supply Chain

Farmforce food supply chain technology already has some positive experiences under its belt. Since 2014, we’ve implemented our advanced traceability solutions for coffee buyers across Latin America.

The Traceability Barometer Report

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