Starbucks to Track Coffee Production with Blockchain

The US coffee chain giant, Starbucks, will be utilizing Microsoft’s Azure blockchain service to track coffee production, as reported by GeekWire. 

Starbucks’ technological and digital innovation 

Starbucks has been at the forefront of innovation and digital initiatives for some time now. Speaking back in 2017Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson said that “No traditional brick-and-mortar retailer is better positioned to navigate and flourish in the global retail industry of today or better positioned to lead in the digital retail world of tomorrow. And we will do so with speed, agility, and a focus on creating long-term shareholder value.” Chief Strategy Officer Matt Ryan, also hinted back then on Starbuck’s desire to push innovation further: “This fundamental modernization of our technology stack will replace legacy rewards and ordering functionality with the new scalable cloud-based platform for rewards and ordering, improved customer data organization, and tighter integration with store-based operating systems, including inventory and production management.” 

It is important to note that Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson, was a former long-time Microsoft executive. In 1992, he joined Microsoft, where he served for 16 years, in such roles as group vice president of Microsoft’s worldwide sales, marketing and services in 2003, and as co-president of the Windows and Online Services division in 2005. A year later, Johnson was to become president of the Windows and Online Services division. 

Microsoft and Starbucks’ initiatives 

Both companies are working on various projects to explore customer preferences such as machine learning or, most interestingly, blockchain to trace coffee. 

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella referring to the collaboration, praised Starbucks for its commitment to high tech solutions: “They are coming together to completely take what is that iconic experience that is Starbucks and incorporating digital throughout.”  

Use of blockchain 

Last week, Microsoft announced its new Azure Blockchain Serviceand is now working with Starbucks to connect coffee drinkers with coffee farmers, as customers will be able to trace through the Starbucks mobile app the journey of their coffee, from the beans and the farm they were cultivated to their favorite Starbucks coffee cup. The coffee giant has said that the pilot program will be open source in order to share its findings. 

While a date for the launch of their service has not yet been released, shareholders at Starbucks were shown a demo of the innovative concept in their annual meeting in March. 

 

Sources: GeekWire, LinkedIn 

 

 

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