Starbucks to use Microsoft Blockchain Azure platform to trace coffee beans
Microsoft recently announced that Starbucks is creating an even more personal, seamless customer experience in its stores by implementing advanced technologies, ranging from cloud computing to blockchain. “We have a world-class team of technologists engaging in groundbreaking innovation each day. Their inventiveness and intellectual curiosity are matched by their dedication to enabling the Starbucks experience, and this is increasingly critical to how technology has to show up for us,” says Gerri Martin-Flickinger, Starbucks executive vice president and chief technology officer.
At the Microsoft Build 2019 conference, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella recently demonstrated how Starbucks delivers its signature customer experience with new technologies. “As an engineering and technology organization, one of the areas we are incredibly excited to be pursuing is using data to continuously improve the experience for our customers and partners,” says Martin-Flickinger. “Using data for personalization is vital to our mobile app, and now we are leveraging data to improve our drive-thru experience.”
In addition Starbuck will be using blockchain to share coffee’s journey with customers. The company is developing a feature for its mobile app that shows customers information about where their packaged coffee comes from, from where it was grown and what Starbucks is doing to support farmers in those locations, to where and when it was roasted, tasting notes and more. Starbucks is exploring the role of digital traceability in empowering coffee farmers. “I firmly believe that by empowering farmers with knowledge and data through technology, we can support them in ultimately improving their livelihoods,” says Michelle Burns, SVP of Global Coffee & Tea.
This new transparency is powered by Microsoft’s Azure Blockchain Service, which allows supply chain participants to trace both the movement of their coffee and its transformation from bean to final bag. Each state change is recorded to a shared, immutable ledger providing all parties a more complete view of their products’ journey.