Starbucks Plans To Use Microsoft Blockchain System To Track Coffee Beans From ‘Farm To Cup’

Isheka N. Harrison
Written by Isheka N. Harrison
Starbucks Blockchain
Photo via Flickr: John Beans

Starbucks wants its customers to know more about its coffee beans and it’s using Microsoft’s Blockchain service to do it. The coffee giant will use Microsoft’s Azure Blockchain Service to track its global coffee shipments from “farm to cup,” Coindesk reported.

The information will be compiled and made available in the Starbucks app. Starbucks hopes the greater level of transparency will help growers and customers alike.

“I firmly believe that by empowering farmers with knowledge and data through technology, we can support them in ultimately improving their livelihoods,” said Michelle Burns, SVP of Global Coffee & Tea at Starbucks. “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.”

Starbucks is just one of several large companies to explore Blockchain. Since the question of whether it will transform the economy has become so prevalent, it is hard to ignore.

Listen to GHOGH with Jamarlin Martin | Episode 15: Clarence Wooten

Jamarlin talks with Silicon Valley-based entrepreneur Clarence Wooten, who sold his first tech business for $23M. They discuss Bitcoin’s long-term prospects and how blockchain has opened up new capital-raising opportunities for entrepreneurs.

In its announcement on Microsoft’s website about the tech and coffee partnership, Starbucks touted the benefits having “digital, real-time traceability” would provide. Starbucks is also using Microsoft’s tech to deliver a smoother, more proactive, coffee customer experience.

“We’re meeting our customers where they are — whether in-store, in their car or on the go through the app — using machine learning and artificial intelligence to understand and anticipate their personal preferences,” said Gerri Martin-Flickinger, Starbucks executive vice president and chief technology officer.

“Starbucks is an experience,” continued Martin-Flickinger. “And it’s centered around that customer connection in the store, the human connection, one person, one cup, one neighborhood at a time. I think that mission is so critical to how technology has to show up for us.”