A consulting firm, Accenture has partnered with Mastercard, blockchain startup Everledger and humanitarian aid organization Mercy Corps in order to develop a prototype blockchain-based supply chain app to encourage “circular supply chain.”
A circular supply chain is a production process that is meticulously organized to recycle and re-use as much product as possible. Accenture’s app will enable consumers to track the provenance of the goods they are buying and to check whether or not the producer has a certification for sustainable practices.
Furthermore, the app will allow consumers to send tips as a reward for responsible producers. Said reward could be in a blockchain-based token form or a fiat transfer powered by Mastercard payment rails, as stated by David Treat, Accenture’s global blockchain lead.
Treat further added that the company is aiming at involving small farms across the globe, to allow them to register their certificates of ecologically conscious practices on a blockchain as a part of their digital identity. This will allow consumers to observe who produced the goods and how it was supplied to them.
As per Treat, Accenture is also working with farmers’ associations in Africa and South America to get them enrolled in the system. The platform will be responsible for maintaining cloud-based nodes on behalf of their farmers.
Mercy Corps’ role
As for Mercy Corps, it plans to aid the project by sharing its experience of working with farmers’ communities across the globe. Ric Shreves, a senior advisor to the Technology for Development team at the NGO, said to CoinDesk.
“In this stage of the project, we are exploring possible agricultural programs in our current program portfolio to pilot Circular Supply Chain. We think it will be best suited for boutique consumer goods, for example single origin coffee, as opposed to bulk goods.”
A prototype of the platform is being built on Hyperledger Fabric, Treat added that they are looking to add more participants. Mastercards’ part in the deal is to provide its expertise in blockchain and payment systems and to allow the platform access to communities it’s already working with. Tara Nathan, executive vice president for humanitarian issues and development at Mastercard, said in Accenture’s announcement:
“Through our work with smallholder farmers in Kenya, India, Mexico and elsewhere, we’ve deployed digital solutions helping to drive commercially sustainable social impact – and we understand that collaboration is essential for this journey.”
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