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From Farm to Cup, Big Coffee Turns to Tech to Lure Consumers

  • Smucker, JDE, Sucafina among firms working on a joint solution
  • Consumers will be able to track where their coffee comes from
Coffee beans sit in a cup.

Coffee beans sit in a cup.

Photographer: Jeremy Piper/Bloomberg

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Sustainability-minded millennials increasingly want to know where their cup of Americano or Espresso Macchiato comes from, and some of the world’s top coffee companies are turning to technology for help.

Roasters including J.M. Smucker Co. and Jacob Douwe Egberts are joining a blockchain initiative by Farmer Connect, a startup backed by Swiss coffee trader Sucafina and developed in partnership with International Business Machines Corp. The technology will help firms trace the origin of the beans they buy and sell as well as their pricing along the supply chain.