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At its annual March 20 shareholders meeting, Starbucks announced a $100M investment into a private equity fund called Valor Siren Ventures Fund. The investment intends to help fuel new digital initiatives that bring innovation and potential commercial opportunities to its business.

At the same meeting, the company unveiled a new feature being tested that allows customers to scan a bag of coffee and trace it through the supply chain. Also shown are origin information, farmer support efforts, roasting info, etc.

This is the same type of approach we are building at Transparent Path and it’s exciting to see major brands embrace the concept and make it real.

One of the issues facing many food traceability efforts is seeing upstream from commingling. For example, if Starbucks commingles beans from a particular region, how do the beans in the final package get associated with the farm or farms they originate with? And if a brand is unsure about which specific farm, how do they communicate the commingling to the user? For example, if apples are picked at 10 orchards and are mixed at a packing facility based on variety and color, how do you tell the consumers, with any certainty, which farm they came from? Not sure you can but fascinated to see how others are solving that data challenge.

We are also working with Penta Global on an initiative we are temporarily calling ShareTrade. If traceability is worth a premium pricepoint, can the proceeds of that premium be distributed to all the partners within the supply chain who willingly shared their data with their partners and with the consumer? Can we make traceability pay for itself? These are questions we’re focused on at the moment.

If we can get ahold of what the screenshots look like, we’ll update this post.

Read the original GeekWire article here.