A new virtual networking and information hub focused on promoting the effective use of digital technology in the coffee industry called Digital Coffee Future is holding its first Traceability Summit on Oct. 28-29.
The online ticketed event will feature live panel discussions, meetings and networking opportunities, with the goal of defining and demystifying digital traceability in the coffee industry.
More than 20 speakers and panelists reflecting various positions in the supply stream are slated to share their perspectives, as the event is catering to producers, cooperatives, traders, roasters, NGOs, tech providers and more.
“The coffee value chain is so interconnected that if we approach digitalization just looking at one step or a few stakeholders, we won’t be able to push towards a comprehensive effort,” Elisa Criscione, founder and CEO of Digital Coffee Future, told Daily Coffee News. “I personally see this unity as the only way forward to bring an effective and inclusive digital transformation in coffee.”
Criscione is also the founder and lead consultant of Expressing Origin, a digital technology consultancy focused on coffee sustainability. Catalyzed by the challenges brought to light through the COVID-19 pandemic, Criscione and a small team of community managers and strategy advisors launched Digital Coffee Future in May 2020 with a first event called “What Is Coffee Digitalization? Let’s Start Talking!”
“I always had the feeling that coffee professionals were highly interested in technology, [but] nobody really knew how to find answers to their questions that were tailor-made for the coffee sector,” said Criscione. “It would have been difficult to reach many people with just offering consulting services. So the idea of creating a community that could look closer at digital technology, while representing the whole sector, came to mind.”
The organization itself is run remotely, with partners and volunteers in the group hailing from parts of Europe and the United States, including community manager Jessika Heredia Sosa and strategy advisor Nora Burkey.
The goal of Digital Coffee Future is not to push towards universal digitization at every opportunity, Criscione told DCN. Rather, it is to share practical information and enhance the understanding of what solutions currently exist and how they may be practically applied or developed.
“Of course technology is part of our daily lives and operations,” said Criscione. “However, any sort of technology has to be used and developed only in the way it really aligns with a company’s needs and its users’ needs.”
Speakers appearing at the Traceability Summit in October include Jésus Salazar Velasco from Caféologo, Julio Guevara from Perfect Daily Grind, Michael Sheridan from Intelligentsia Coffee, Karl Wienhold from Cedro Alto, Ever Meister and Suzannah Hoban as independent professionals, and more.
Howard Bryman is the associate editor of Daily Coffee News by Roast Magazine. He is based in Portland, Oregon.