Coffee Value Chain Part 2: Brewing Sustainable AgTech 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.

So, make sure to have your cup at hand as we’re about to reveal how our food’s traceability software is adding a sustainable aroma to coffee.

Building the Coffee Supply Chain

To counter the above-mentioned problems, Farmforce developed an information management system (IMS) to track all the growing activities (e.g., planting, pruning, etc.) happening along the coffee value chain first mile. But our software can do much more than that for making farm management more sustainable.

Our IMS 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, you have agronomists and internal auditors performing 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 service as a software (SaaS). Our app has a built-in feature for polygon drawing that lets field staff map growing areas for each of the registered farmers. These are then linked to the farmer’s unique ID number and stored in our data bank. By accessing the field data, coffee exporters can overlay the plots with deforested areas from the Global Forest Watch (GFW) database. By doing so, coffee traders can verify whether growers in their supply chain are contributing to deforestation.

To investigate any potential child labour, our supply chain visibility software let MNCs and other stakeholders run some Monitoring & Evaluation (M&E) surveys. Also, by linking each farmer with their family members, Farmforce makes it easier to follow up and monitor any children at risk of child labour.
On top of that, our agricultural supply chain software stores production quotas, which are the expected amounts of ripe coffee cherries that farmers are allowed to deliver at the wet mill. By checking this information, field staff reduces the risk of purchasing uncertified coffee cherries.

Another crucial benefit of our food supply chain traceability solution is to maximise the quality of coffee cherries delivered at the wet mill. Using Farmforce’s quality module, field operators can configure quality parameters such as the percentage of unripe (green) cherries, their picking date, etc. Accordingly, they will be able to manage the quality of coffee cherries purchased at the wet mill.

Grinding Out A Sustainable Coffee Supply Chain

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