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Supply chain, geographical indicator and blockchain: provenance model for commodity

Mohita Gangwar Sharma (QT_OM, FORE School of Management, New Delhi, India)

International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management

ISSN: 1741-0401

Article publication date: 14 June 2021

Issue publication date: 2 January 2023




Many commodity supply chains suffer from an unfair value distribution across the supply chain like “Coffee Paradox.” This study explores the coffee supply chain to determine how the country of origin–geographical indicator can be used as a method of fair distribution of value and provenance across the supply chain effectuated by the blockchain technology. By looking at an exemplar case study for India, this study provides insights into diverse research streams and practice.


Based on the case method, analyzing the implementation of blockchain in the coffee industry by a leading Indian software implementation of the logic, dynamics and forces for a provenance model has been devised. It further adopts a stakeholder cum institutional theory framework to understand the logical implementation of a blockchain project embedded in a territorial logic for a commodity supply chain.


This study specifically looks at coffee which is representative of a commodity supply chain. It also explores how the malaise of unfair value distribution gets addressed by bringing farmers and the consumers on a common platform facilitated by blockchain technology. This study contributes to the literature on blockchain, territory, commodity and supply chain. Using stakeholder cum institutional theory, this study helps to explore how the implementation is successful by different actors in the supply chain through collaboration.

Research limitations/implications

This study provides a new stream of multi-disciplinary study at the interface of supply chain, technology, international trade and geography.

Practical implications

Blockchains are embedded in the supply chain, and supply chains are embedded in territories. This linkage is paramount and the ability to make these blockchain projects successful requires the deep study of the interaction of territory, technology and actors from the provenance angle. De-commodification of coffee can be actualized through blockchain.

Social implications

The coffee paradox and skewed value distribution is also a social problem wherein the farmers do not get the right price of their produce and are exploited. This case also highlights how this social malaise can be addressed and rightful and equitable distribution of value happens across the value chain.


This linkage between territory, blockchain, commodity supply chain and institutions has not been discussed in the literature. Adopting the territorial design approach, this study is an attempt to stimulate inter-disciplinary conversations and thereby create a provenance framework for commodity and research questions for scholars from different disciplines and divergent disciplinary perspectives.



The infrastructural support provided by FORE School of Management, New Delhi is deeply acknowledged and appreciated. The support provided by Mr. Manav Garg and Mr. Vaibhav Shetty of M/s Eka Software is also acknowledged.


Sharma, M.G. (2023), "Supply chain, geographical indicator and blockchain: provenance model for commodity", International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management, Vol. 72 No. 1, pp. 92-108.



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