May 17, 2020

Starbucks to use blockchain to make coffee transparent from 'bean to cup'

Starbucks Corporation
"bean to cup"
coffee
traceability
Laura Mullan
2 min
ALT
In an effort to increase transparency from “bean to cup”, Starbucks has become the latest food and beverage company to use blockchain technology.

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In an effort to increase transparency from “bean to cup”, Starbucks has become the latest food and beverage company to use blockchain technology.

The Seattle-based coffee giant said it is going to launch a pilot program to trace coffee beans from Costa Rica, Columbia and Rwanda using “traceability technology.”

The new pilot program is part of the firm’s wider commitment to commit to sustainable and ethically sourced coffee beans.

The technology will log and share real-time information about the journey of the coffee beans and aims to positively impact smallholder farmers within its supply chain. 

“Over the next two years, we will look to demonstrate how technology and innovative data platforms can give coffee farmers even more financial empowerment,” said the company’s CEO Kevin Johnson.

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“Traceability technology could have profound implications for connecting coffee drinkers to the farmers who grow it,” added Arthur Karuletwa, director of traceability at the company.

“This could be a seismic change in an industry that hasn’t had much innovation in the way coffee moves across borders and oceans,” he said.

“At the same time, I’ve met farmers who have very little by way of possessions, but they have a mobile phone. Digital has become the economic engine of this century, and traceability preserves the most valuable assets we have as human beings – our identity.”

Transparency has become a fast-emerging trend in the food and beverage sector, with a recent survey by the Hartman Group revealing that 69% of consumers say they want retailers to be more transparent about their sustainability efforts.

As a result, many industry leaders have increasingly tapped into blockchain technologies to enhance their sustainability efforts and make their supply chains more visible.
 
For instance, US retailer Walmart recently partnered with tech giant IM and Tsinghua University in Beijing to investigate the use of distributed ledge technology to enhance the efficiency and transparency of its supply chain.

Meanwhile, last year, agricultural conglomerate Cargill Inc.leveraged blockchain technology to allow consumers to trace their Thanksgiving turkey from the store where they bought it to the farm that raised it. 

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Jun 10, 2021

Corona tackles plastic packaging waste and becomes net-zero

Food
CoronaBeer
ABInbev
packaging
Helen Adams
3 min
Raise your glass, Corona has become the first global beverage brand with a net-zero plastic footprint

Corona beer may have experienced an unfortunate name-share, but it’s as popular as ever, scoring first place in the top 50 beers of 2021. 

The company has scored another milestone, of achieving a net-zero footprint from its packaging. 

Each year, 12.7m tonnes of plastic waste ends up in the ocean, often after only a single use. Corona decided to change this and after an extensive external assessment of Corona’s global operations, against the 3RI Corporate Plastic Stewardship Guidelines by leading climate solutions provider South Pole, Corona has become the first global beverage brand with a net zero plastic footprint.

The assessment measured Corona’s remaining plastic usage throughout the brand’s products and distribution logistics processes, but Corona’s long-term vision is to be a sustainability leader in consumer packaged goods and work alongside its competitors, on the problem of marine plastic pollution.

It also followed the Verra Plastic Waste Reduction Standard to calculate the impact of Corona’s mitigation activities, including a major investment in Mexico Recicla, a recycling facility in Mexico.

 

Corona confronts customers consumption habits

The brand has also launched Plastic Reality, a way for consumers to see the level of plastic waste they are contributing. 

Plastic Reality users get an estimate of their annual plastic footprint after answering some basic questions about their consumption habits. 

That footprint is then visualized through colorful AR pieces of plastic that splash across the user’s physical world like seawater washing ashore. 

From there Plastic Reality opens a virtual portal to a polluted beach paradise that shows how plastic affects nature while prompting users to take action to reduce their plastic footprint. 

 

Corona calls other manufacturers to take action on polluting packaging 

“Becoming the first global beverage brand with a net zero plastic footprint is the latest in Corona’s broader ambition to help protect the world’s oceans and beaches from plastic pollution”, said Felipe Ambra, global vice president of marketing at Corona. “But we can’t do it alone. That’s why Corona created Plastic Reality, an augmented reality experience that allows people to see their annual plastic footprint in their own home. Seeing your full years’ worth of plastic in your living room is truly eye-opening, and hopefully will inspire people to reduce their personal plastic use and their impact on the environment.”

“We welcome this first important step by Corona towards the complete removal of plastic from their supply chain”, said Richard Hill, chief executive of Ocean Generation. “This net zero plastic footprint accreditation demonstrates Corona’s recognition of the plastic footprint their products leave on the planet and the series of practical steps they are starting to take in mitigation. We look forward to working with Corona to achieve their ultimate aim of leaving no plastic in nature.”

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