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Starbucks lets clients trace their coffee via a blockchain solution powered by Microsoft

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MILAN – Starbucks now lets its customers trace the entire supply chain of their coffee. In fact, the American coffee chain has deployed a blockchain tool powered by Microsoft Corp to propel the tracking of coffee from bean to store, according to Bloomberg.

Since yesterday, customers are able to scan codes on the bags of coffee they purchase to discover their origins. Little information has been provided concerning the traceability solution other than the fact that it employs blockchain. Microsoft is one of the leading providers of blockchain-as-a-service platforms, though IBM’s Food Trust platform is better known in the space.

According to Michelle Burns, the senior vice president at Starbucks, customers purchasing coffee across its stores in the U.S. will be able to use a code on the package to know the source of the beans, the roasting place, and brewing tips from baristas. Furthermore, farmers will be availed with a reverse code that will enable them to track their produce.

“We have been able to trace every coffee we buy from every farm for almost two decades. That allowed us to have the foundation to now build a user-friendly, consumer-driven tool that certainly provides that trust and confidence to our customers that we know where all of our coffee comes from,” Burns said in an interview with Bloomberg.

The traceability website can be accessed from any laptop or desktop and the code can also be inserted manually. That will allow growers to understand where their beans end up.

“What they told us is they didn’t know where their coffee went, what blend it went to,” Ms Burns said.

The tool isn’t yet available for Starbucks bags purchased outside licensed stores, or on a per-cup level. When asked if the coffee-chain operator had any plans to expand that, she said: “We are just getting started.”