Using blockchain to save orangutans: Orang Utan Coffee wins at Supply Chain Excellence Awards

25 November 2021 by
Using blockchain to save orangutans: Orang Utan Coffee wins at Supply Chain Excellence Awards

Drink coffee. Save orangutans. Winner in the Food and Drink category and overall winner taking home "Team of the Year" with their Farmer Connect blockchain technology. Orang Utan Coffee in partnership with Farmer Connect are leading the way for the future of supply chains in the sector.

After being awarded the prestigious innovation award at the Lunch! and Casual Dining show earlier this year for their UCC TO GO™ premium automated retail, the most customisable coffee to-go machine on the market, UCC have repeated their success with the Orang Utan Coffee brand and snatched both the Food and Drink and top prize of 'Team of the Year' at the Supply Chain Excellence awards.

Part of the global Ueshima Coffee Company, UCC Coffee UK & I have, for many years, created and managed coffee experiences for the most dynamic businesses in foodservice, hospitality and retail. With in-house market-leading insight and a global network, its Total Coffee Solution is tailored around the customers' needs and goals, working in partnership to ensure their coffee offer grows faster and outperforms the market.

As the UCC TO GO™ unit demonstrates, innovation and a forward future-thinking approach to coffee is at the heart of the UCC agenda. As part of their portfolio, they manage white-labelled coffee brands for some of the UK's biggest high-street brands, alongside their own range of certified and sustainable-first coffees, including Grand Café in partnership with conservation international, ThreeSixty, which includes Rainforest Alliance and Fairtrade blends, and Orang Utan.

The UK's FIRST blockchain coffee

Working with the Farmer Connect© platform, UCC Coffee with Orang Utan Coffee are the UK's first blockchain coffee brand, helping to protect farming communities, rainforests, and orangutan populations in Indonesia with technology designed to fight unwanted changes at their source and champion a fair living wage.

Blockchain, a type of database which records transactions in separate, unchangeable, time-stamped, cryptograph-coded unique "blocks" linked to each other in a permanent "chain" provides accessible, understandable, and validated data that is uploaded at every stage of the Orang Utan Coffee journey - from the highlands of Sumatra until it reaches the coffee shelves of retailers, such as Waitrose and Ocado, in the UK

This means Farmer Connect and UCC can guarantee complete transparency in the supply chain from bean-to-cup and can ensure farmers are being paid a fair wage for their vital work. In addition, a portion of these sales are then donated to Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Programme (SOCP) and other charities to directly improve the lives of the communities involved.

Direct to the farmers

As part of their ongoing commitment to reduce our impact on the environment, the Orang Utan brand has been supported by Waitrose & Partners and the coffee is available in-store or online for their customers to make empowered choices and opt for a coffee brand now recognised and awarded for their commitment to supply chain innovation.

All of this means customers can do their own little bit to support the farmers, communities and environments that went into sourcing the coffee, with the guarantee records haven't been corrupted in the process.

Customers can also donate further money direct to the farmers through the Farmer Connect© platform, knowing with confidence the money will reach them and not siphoned on the way.

In foodservice, the brand is hugely popular in education and listed in universities, colleges, and independent schools where students, who are increasingly ethically engaged, appreciate the direct and conscious message.

Also ideal for garden centres and leisure locations, Orang Utan gives customers the chance to protect the livelihoods of farmers and protect fragile rainforest environments home to millions of species.

Now recognised by the Supply Chain Excellence Awards, the brand's support to SOCP has helped in other successes which include:

  • The safe rehabilitation of over 200 orangutans
  • The cancellation of major palm oil concessions
  • The closure of a major timber concession and established protected status for 88,000 hectares in the Batang Toru Ecosystem - currently home to 800 Tapanuli orangutans
  • Helping the SOCP build The Orangutan Haven in North Sumatra - a safe home for orangutans that are too injured to return to the wild
  • Certifying all Orang Utan Coffee farmers in the highlands of Gayo to follow rigorous Orang Utan Coffee standards
  • Assisting coffee farmers to build their own processing plant
  • Ongoing training and education to coffee farmers on ecologically viable farming to help protect the natural habitat of orangutans.

UCC Coffee are proud to offer the market leading Total Coffee Solution model. We roast a full range of coffees from our own portfolio of award-winning brands to private label offers. Our world-class commercial espresso machines deliver consistent, quality coffee, and by working exclusively with the world's most innovative manufacturers and brands, you will always stay ahead of your competitors. Our data-driven approach to coffee excellence guarantees that your team have the skills to produce quality coffee across every site, whatever your scale. Our technical customer support and service engineers are always available, wherever, and whenever. Our expert teams become a part of your business, providing preventative and reactive cover all-year round, so your coffee keeps on flowing.

Insight and branding, coffee, equipment, data-driven training, smart service, category management all play a part in making the experience truly exceptional for you and your customers. We make every cup count.

Switch on a solution that's entirely powered by unrivalled expertise, experience, service, and data. Our vast network and scalable solutions are proven to drive double digit growth. Get ready to grow your coffee business faster than the market.


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