Indian Coffee Board launches blockchain marketplace to improve supply chain
This week the Indian Coffee Board announced the launch of a new blockchain-powered e-marketplace for coffee. The project was activated by Commerce Secretary, Dr. Anup Wadhawan; Mr. Jose DausterSette, Executive Director, International Coffee Organisation’s (ICO) from Nairobi, Kenya; and Rahul Chhabra, India’s High Commissioner to Kenya.
100% of India’s coffee is grown under shade, handpicked and sun dried. The country’s coffee has a reputation as a premium product, produced by small coffee growers and tribal farmers adjacent to National Parks and wildlife sanctuaries in the Western and Eastern Ghats, which are two of the major biodiversity hotspots in the world.
However, the share of profits seen by coffee farmers is, according to the Coffee Board, very meagre, as there is little transparency from procure to pay. The new blockchain-powered marketplace app is intended to bring transparency to the Indian coffee supply chain, maintaining the traceability of Indian coffee from bean to cup, ensuring that coffee growers are fairly compensated for their product.
The Indian Coffee Board hopes the initiative will help build the brand of Indian Coffee as a luxury, premium beverage, and eliminate the need for intermediaries in the supply chain vertical.
According to a report by CoinTelegraph “the application will initially launch in a pilot phase with a limited number of growers for the next four to five months. Should the test prove successful it will be expanded to all growers in the country.”
Blockchain has, according to CoinTelegraph, already seen adoption by food producers in the US and Europe, in order to create greater transparency and efficiency in their supply chains. Recently, “the National Pork Board partnered with startup ripe.io to test out a blockchain platform for pork supply chains. The new platform will purportedly enable the Board to monitor and evaluate sustainability practices, food safety standards, livestock health, and environmental protections. In February, French President Emmanuel Macron advocated for the use of blockchain to innovate supply chain management in European agriculture.”
EU and US agree end to Airbus-Boeing supply chain tariffs
The EU and US have agreed to resolve a 17-year dispute over aircraft subsidies, suspending tariffs on billions of dollars' worth of goods that have plagued procurement leaders on both sides of the Atlantic.
Under an agreement reached by European Commission Executive Vice-President Valdis Dombrovskis and US Trade Representative Katherine Tai on Tuesday, the tariffs will be halted for a period of at least five years.
It will bring an end to punitive and disruptive levies on supply chains that have little to do with the argument, which became embroiled in the trade battle. Businesses on both sides of the dispute have been hit with more than $3.3bn in duties since they were first imposed by the US in October 2019, according the EC.
The US imposed charges on goods upto $7.5bn in response to a World Trade Organisation ruling that judged the EU’s support of Airbus, its biggest aircraft manufacturer, unlawful. A year later in November 2020, the EU hit back. The WTO found the US had violated trade rules in its favourable treatment of Boeing, and was hit with EU duties worth $4bn.
In all the tariffs affected $11.5bn worth of goods, including French cheese, Scotch whisky, aircraft and machinery in Europe, and sugarcane products, handbags and tobacco in America. Procurement leaders on both sides of the fence were forced to wrestle with tariffs of 15% on aircraft and components, and 25% on non-aircraft related products.
Boeing-Airbus dispute by the numbers
- The dispute began in 2004
- Tariffs suspended for 5 years
- $11.5bn worth of goods affected by tariffs
- $3.3bn in duties paid by businesses to date
- 15% levy on aircraft and 25% on non-aircraft goods suspended
Both sides welcome end to tariffs
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen branded the truce a “major step” in ending what is the longest running dispute in WTO history. It began in 2004.
“I am happy to see that after intensive work between the European Commission and the US administration, our transatlantic partnership is on its way to reaching cruising speed. This shows the new spirit of cooperation between the EU and the US and that we can solve the other issues to our mutual benefit,” she added.
Both aircraft manufacturers have welcomed the news. Airbus said in a statement that it will hopefully bring to an end the “lose-lose tariffs” that are affecting industries already facing “many challenges”. Boeing added that it will “fully support the U.S. Government’s efforts to ensure that the principles in this understanding are respected”.
The US aerospace firm added: "The understanding reached today commits the EU to addressing launch aid, and leaves in place the necessary rules to ensure that the EU and United States live up to that commitment, without requiring further WTO action."
This week’s decision expands upon a short-term tariff truce announced in March this year. The EC says it will work closely with the US to try and further resolve the dispute, establishing a Working Group on Large Civil Aircraft led by each side’s trade minister.
Airbus last month signalled to suppliers that post-pandemic recovery was on the horizon, telling them to scale up to meet a return to pre-COVID manufacturing levels. “The aviation sector is beginning to recover from the COVID-19 crisis,” said Airbus chief executive Guillaume Faury, adding that suppliers should prepare for a period of intensive production “when market conditions call for it.”