J.M. Smucker Joins in On Farm to Table Transparency Movement

The J.M. Smucker Company is hoping on the supply chain transparency bandwagon by starting to use blockchain technology.

Smucker’s partnered with Farmer Connect; this startup uses IBM’s blockchain to trace products from farm to table for consumers. Once a customer scans a QR code on the packaging of their coffee, their phone or table will take them to the Thank My Farmer website where they presented with information about where the coffee was grown, processed and exported. Smucker’s is trialing the software with their 1850 100% Colombian bagged coffee.

Sustainability and environmentally responsible brands are very important to many consumers who are willing to pay a premium for brands who meet their high standards. IBM’s blockchain technology provides this information in an easy way for both the producer and the consumer.

People also like a story that comes along with a hand-grown, hand-crafted product. Who produces it, their name, their history, their story can be equally valuable to a consumer. In vast ocean of faceless or celebrity endorsed products knowing the story of “the little guy” who grew your coffee or whatever the product is can has value.

 

Recent, Large-Scale Observational Studies Agree Coffee Might Help You Live Longer

The European Society of Cardiology has completed a new large-scale study of 20,000 participants that determined that drinking coffee and (maybe as much as you want) may help you live longer.

The study found that people who drink four or more cups of coffee a day were observed to have a 64% less chance of early death when compare to people who never or rarely drink coffee. The study notes that the risk reduction increased as people reached the age of 45. This suggests the benefits of consuming coffee increase as we age.

This all echoes another recent and large observational study that both regular and decaf drinkers appear to live longer. Other research has shown that coffee reduces the risk of disease like type 2 diabetes, liver disease, Alzheimer’s, skin cancer and colorectal cancer.

While all of this is true, this is not a free for all to for everyone to start ingesting copious amounts of coffee. Both pregnant women and those with heart conditions should limit their intake. Data is inconsistent when it comes to pregnant women consuming more than 200mg of caffeine a day when it comes to risks like miscarriage or premature birth. As caffeine speeds up heart rate anyone with a heart condition should consult a doctor before consuming too much caffeine.

Remember that decaffeinated coffee isn’t “no-caf” and that drinking 3-4 cups a day of decaf could still be problematic for heart patients.

Some final thoughts: if you don’t take you coffee black low-fat milk is better than cream; though a teaspoon of sugar in a cup of coffee isn’t much, it does add up if you drink multiple cups a day; those with high cholesterol should avoid unfiltered coffee, compounds left in unfiltered coffee can increase cholesterol in some people; those with sleep issues should avoid caffeine in the evening or even earlier.