World first for Brazil using NZ science to guarantee forensically traceable coffee

18 October 2023

Brazilian Coffee Beans

11 October 2023

World first for Brazil using NZ science to guarantee forensically traceable coffee. 

Brazil Specialty Coffee Association (BSCA) teams up with forensic origin-tracing world leader Oritain to guarantee the provenance of Brazilian regional coffees.

In a game-changing move for the future of coffee, Oritain’s innovative forensic science provides a guarantee of Brazilian coffee’s provenance and origin no matter where it ends up in the world. Building on existing provenance mapping work in Brazil with Nestlé and the Federation of Coffee Growers of Cerrado Mineiro, this initiative puts Brazil at the forefront of scientific traceability in coffee. Through this work with the BSCA, Oritain will be able to ascertain, at any point in the supply chain, the origin of Brazilian coffee at both a national and regional level, providing a new level of assurance and transparency to buyers and consumers.

Regulation is demanding origin verification. Verification systems put in place by BSCA and Oritain are compliant with recent European Union anti-deforestation regulations, which veto imports that do not comply with environmental requirements.

Consumers too are demanding proof of origin. Research commissioned by Oritain in May 2023 indicated that Brazilian consumers are deeply concerned about the origin of their products, especially coffee. 96.9% of respondents were positive toward manufacturers that disclose origin; and 78.2% considered that a product is only truly sustainable if its origin is known. Coffee lovers in markets such as Europe, North America, New Zealand and Australia are also demanding proveable actions from coffee brands with regards to sustainability.

Vincius Estrela, Executive Director of Brazilian Specialty Coffee Association, shared the announcement.

“Putting in place traceability systems is an essential way of walking the walk and avoiding greenwashing accusations. Sanctity of Brazilian origin is essential to our specialty coffee growers, roasters and exporters. Brazilian coffee is exported all over the world. We are looking for a way to provide a guarantee to regulators, investors, buyers and most importantly our valued customers all over the world that our coffee is 100% Brazilian and compliant with international regulations to combat deforestation, environmental harm, unethical labour practices and food fraud. Our partnership with Oritain and the “Oritain Fingerprint” gives our customers, investors and partners 100% confidence that the coffee they enjoy every day is ethically sourced, environmentally positive and of Brazil. For BSCA, it supports our claim that Brazilian coffee is true to source, from earth to cup, we have always been able to taste the difference – today we can prove it scientifically, even at regional level.”

Pioneered in New Zealand, Oritain has become the global leader in applying forensic science and data to verify product origin.

Commenting on the partnership, Oritain CEO, Grant Cochrane said, “Oritain is delighted to be partnering with the Brazilian Specialty Coffee Association to leverage the integrity of forensic science for the benefit of award-winning Brazilian regional coffees. Oritain and Nestlé Brazil launched a partnership that covered three Brazilian regions in June this year. BSCA is building on this work and paving the way for coffee consumers worldwide to benefit from unmatched traceability of Brazilian coffee, which we can scientifically prove at farm, regional and country level. The strategic vision and commitment to the project by BSCA is key to establishing Brazil as a global leader in coffee traceability.”

How does it work?
Wherever you are in the world, the geochemistry of the land differs, even in the case of parcels of land that are only a few metres apart. As coffee grows, it absorbs a unique ratio of elements depending on the mesoclimate, altitude, precipitation, soil type and growing conditions. Using cutting-edge forensic science, Oritain can identify this unique ratio in the soil that is ‘imprinted’, creating an unchanging scientific link that runs through the beans and the eventual cup of coffee.

The BSCA partnership with Oritain will map key coffee regions of Brazil based on these geochemical elements, to create origin fingerprints that can be then used to test against.

Gabriela Castro-Fontoura, Oritain Regional Director for Latin America said, “Coffee lovers around the world demand to know that the coffee in their cup comes from its claimed region, is the genuine article and has not been a part of deforestation or unethical labour practices. Oritain’s partnership with BSCA means the Brazilian coffee industry can now offer buyers, traders, importers and roasters all over the world an enhanced level of traceability - which they can share with consumers, regulators and investors. At any stage of the supply chain, Oritain can verify and guarantee, with forensic science, the origin of the coffee at a regional level, no matter how many transactions are involved or how complex the market is. BSCA has paved the way for Brazilian producers and exporters, but also for importers, roasters and brands worldwide, to work with Oritain to share the outcomes of this origin mapping work with their customers, regulators and investors.”


Editors’ notes:


Coffee has a deep root in the history of Brazil. Its first seeds sprouted in the 18th century for personal consumption. In the 19th century, it spread to various parts of the country and changed the course of the economy of colonial and imperial Brazil. Founded in 1991 by 12 pioneers and entrepreneurs, the Brazilian Specialty Coffee Association (BSCA) brings together individuals and businesses in the domestic and foreign specialty coffee markets, and seeks to disseminate and stimulate technical improvement in the production, commercialization and industrialization of these products; to promote environmental protection and sustainability through programs, projects, research partnerships, dissemination of quality control techniques and product promotions. Its aim is to raise the standards of excellence of Brazilian coffees offered in the domestic and foreign markets.

BSCA is internationally recognized as a leader of fine coffee producers in Brazil.

Founded in New Zealand in 2008, Oritain has become a global leader in applying forensic and data science to prove the origin of a product. Oritain’s ground-breaking science can pinpoint the exact area a product or raw material comes from, within metres. And their innovative methodology can be applied to almost any product or raw material, in any environment, in any country, around the globe. Today, the company works with some of the world’s largest brands whilst underpinning their ESG commitments, empowering partner companies to make changes across their supply chain and operate more sustainably. For Oritain Global’s client partners – who range from luxury goods to government organisations to leading food, wine, and fibre brands – the Oritain Trustmark on their products protects their reputation, builds trust, and minimises risk. For consumers, the Oritain Trustmark gives them confidence that when they select a brand, they’re buying the genuine article. Oritain does more than prove origin; it protects reputations.