The Seam to present at the American Cotton Shippers Association International Cotton Institute and the Texas International Cotton School this summer

It’s been a busy summer this year for The Seam with Chairman and CEO Mark Pryor presenting on blockchain technology in different parts of the U.S. and in Europe. He recently returned from presenting at the European Cocoa Association in Paris on how this technology has the potential to modernize and transform physical commodities trading.

The Seam is dedicated to educating the industry on the future of the cotton industry, as well as furthering their knowledge on blockchain. In the upcoming weeks, Pryor and Charles Garner, Director of Trading at The Seam, will present at the American Cotton Shippers Association (ACSA) International Cotton Institute at the University of Memphis on June 26, as well as at the Texas International Cotton School in Lubbock, Texas, in August.

The Seam’s involvement in these schools promotes education within the industry. It’s about the education of technology, as it applies to the cotton industry, and The Seam is frequently involved in collaborative efforts like these to do just that. One of the many goals that The Seam has when presenting is to help students understand the significance of working with a system of transactions that are secure, distributed and immutable, enabling companies to work together on a foundation of trust, increased speed and reduced interference. Combined with “smart contracts,” the technology has powerful implications for global trade with cross-border settlement and instantaneous transfer of currency or other assets when defined conditions are met.

Blockchain technology encourages broad involvement with the benefits of a network effect, whereby a service becomes more valuable the more participation it has. With both of these international programs, The Seam hopes to educate students by offering a new perspective on blockchain technology from field to fabric.

The ACSA International Cotton Institute at the University of Memphis

This six week program provides a basic education on all aspects of the cotton industry and its international business environment, offering an in-depth look at cotton from virtually every perspective from production to processing, and manufacturing. This year, the Institute will take place at the Fogelman Executive Conference Center and Hotel at the University of Memphis. Students will attend cotton classing lessons and classroom lectures.

Students at the Cotton Institute will also attend field trips such as a visit to USDA headquarters and a trip to Cotton Inc. in North Carolina.

Texas International Cotton School

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The Lubbock Cotton Exchange, in conjunction with The Fiber & Biopolymer Research Institute and Texas Tech University, is proud to host the 37th session of the Texas International Cotton School. This session will be held August 7-18, 2017 in Lubbock, Texas. The School aims to give students a basic knowledge of U.S. cotton production, processing and marketing systems. The School focuses on staying up-to-date on their curriculum to stay ahead of advances affecting the cotton industry from field to fabric.

The Seam has helped lower the overall costs to market through the use of technology, which aims to gives graduates of this program an understanding of this new technological leap.

The Seam Chairman and CEO presents at the European Cocoa Association in Paris

On June 12, our Chairman and CEO, Mark Pryor, spoke at the European Cocoa Association (ECA) in Paris on how blockchain technology has the potential to modernize and transform physical commodities trading.

“The cocoa blockchain will be transformative for global trade, increasing efficiencies through its secure, trusted, industry-shared, digital ledger,” Mark said.

Mark spoke about the cocoa blockchain as a common digital legend that will soon unite the supply chain. With blockchain technology, documents are cryptographically recorded once and then preserved forever. Cocoa is visibly recorded on the blockchain and controlled by the parties involved and protected from the sight of others.

“For food safety, cocoa blockchain provides provenance and transparency through the immutable recording of transactions, shipments, documents and certifications.”

The ECA is a trade association in Europe that categorizes major companies involved in cocoa bean trade and processing, in warehousing and related logistical activities. Founded in 2000, the Association monitors and reports on developments impacting the cocoa sector at both regulatory and scientific levels. The goal of the ECA is to respond to issues of ongoing globalization, increased regulations and consolidation within the cocoa industry.

“We would also like to thank you for clarifying what could be the Cocoa blockchain – from bean to bar and bar to bean, with the focus on traceability of sustainable cocoa, verification of information, and certification and transactions in an efficient way,” said Catherine Entzminger, ECA Secretary General.

The Association also offers discussions to companies directly or indirectly involved in the cocoa chain from a senior-management level. ECA members represent two-thirds of Europe’s cocoa beans grinding, half of Europe’s industrial chocolate production and 40 percent of the world production of cocoa liquor, butter and powder.

Members of the ECA are directly involved in the cocoa bean trade, processing or production of industrial chocolate. Joining the ECA is a cost-effective way to know regulatory developments that could affect your business before they are even implemented.

To learn more about the ECA, visit www.eurococoa.com.

Benchmark survey on blockchain technology in supply chain management released by Chain Business Insights

Chain Business Insights, LLC, an independent research firm, released its first benchmark survey on blockchain in supply chain. The firm, which focuses on the application of blockchain in supply chain management and trade finance, states that the survey provides the current state of play of blockchain in the industry, and can be effectively monitored for change.

“Blockchain’s ability to maintain a tamper-proof, timely record of product movements and related transactions is of huge interest to supply chain practitioners,” says Sherree DeCovny, co-founder and research principal at Chain Business Insights. “It comes at a time when the industry is under intense pressure to deliver improvements in these areas.”

Blockchain is a distributed database that holds records of events and digital data that is tamper-proof, and approximately one-third of respondents are already implementing the technology. Many of those who took the survey indicated that the main reason they used blockchain was to improve supply chain transparency and traceability.

Surveyors believed these were the most important advantages of blockchain:

  • Improves supply chain visibility/transparency
  • Reduces transaction costs
  • Enhances trust between supply chain partners

Other insights on the survey included:

  • 40 percent reported that they plan to implement blockchain within the next year.
  • One-fifth intend to implement the technology within two years.
  • 30 percent have no idea when blockchain might be implemented and are still uncertain with the technology.
  • Big data/analytics, loT, cloud computing and RFID were all listed by participants as technologies that will likely have an impact on supply chain management.

The original article appeared on Modern Materials Handling.

The Seam Chairman and CEO presented at the 93rd Annual Meeting for the American Cotton Shippers Association

On May 25, The Seam Chairman and CEO Mark Pryor, presented on cotton blockchain technology at the American Cotton Shippers Association (ACSA) annual convention. The ACSA is a respected trade association in the U.S. and abroad that represents the merchants of raw cotton.

The presentation broke down how the cotton blockchain will operate, explaining it as a transformative ecosystem that will soon unite the cotton supply chain from field to fabric. Blockchain technology offers a way to track transactions using a collective, secure digital ledger. The best thing about blockchain technology is that users are in complete control of their transactions, through the use of “smart contracts,”  and trades are processed instantaneously.

“Information is usually exchanged between businesses with dissimilar software and re-keyed by parties in the critical path of development,” Pryor said. “This leads to discrepancies along the way, and costly reconciliation.

“With the cotton blockchain, we can now control the parties involved and protect it from the sight of others. This is a very efficient, trustworthy and secure process. With blockchain technology, we are helping to transform the cotton industry, which is something that we are incredibly proud to support.”

2017 marked the 93rd annual meeting of the ACSA. The convention brought together respected industry experts, who presented on various topics of interest to those in attendance. The ACSA handles more than 80 percent of the U.S. cotton sold in domestic and foreign markets. Membership within the ACSA includes promoting the increased use of cotton in the U.S. and abroad, as well as helping to establish other cotton trade organizations.

This year, the meeting took place at the Four Seasons in St. Louis, Missouri. The ACSA is a not-for-profit organization that relies on sponsorships to help cover the costs of the annual convention.

Watch Mark’s introduction video to the cotton blockchain here: https://vimeo.com/210033809/a8c8a56f49

The Seam Chairman and CEO Speaks on Blockchain Technology at the BCI 2017 Global Cotton Conference

Our Chairman and CEO Mark Pryor is in Berlin, Germany, today speaking at the BCI 2017 Global Cotton Conference on developments in the cotton supply chain. One innovation we’re most proud of is the integration of Blockchain technology, which will help drive efficiencies to global trade as a whole by decentralizing, securing and distributing the data into a single source.

Mark Pryor, CEO of The Seam

To learn more, visit http://bettercotton.org/get-involved/events/bci-2017-global-cotton-conference-and-member-meeting-berlin/.

Memphis Agritech: The Seam launches blockchain venture, considers strategy for product roadmap, global footprint

The Seam Chairman and CEO Mark Pryor was interviewed for a May 11, 2017, story on Venture Nashville, the full text of which is available via this link. Below are a few portions of the Chairman’s comments in that story, summarized by The Seam.

The Seam, the Memphis-based creator of agribusiness software and trading and settlement solutions, has created The Seam Blockchain LLC startup. The Seam Chairman and CEO, Mark Pryor, said the company is “actively in discussions” with “powerful tech companies and [ag-commodity] businesses” globally about its plans to extend its offerings beyond [its] long-standing global cotton and peanuts customer bases, to serve players in cocoa, coffee and other sectors, as well.

The Seam and its Blockchain unit aim to quickly move well beyond proof-of-concept work with Blockchain. Asked about the possible extent of its future supply-chain innovations, Pryor indicated that he sees a broad array of use-cases and opportunities, adding that cotton has a presence “from field to fabric” and peanuts have life “from seed to shelf.”

Pryor said the new wholly owned subsidiary is essential to pursuit of the company’s Blockchain-centric agenda, and will allow the company to achieve “the network effect” of global industry participation that it needs.

He explained, “we have worked closely with IBM and the Hyperledger Fabric since January, but are also increasingly working with Ethereum, while reviewing Corda, in parallel. These Blockchain technologies will soon be interoperable, which make it very important for us to have a solid understanding and experience for bridging cross-industry transactions,” in which, for example, banking might prefer Corda, while agribusiness might align with Ethereum or Fabric.

“I think Blockchain is absolutely revolutionary,” said Pryor. He noted that the challenge of widespread Blockchain adoption “is not so much about technology as about research and education” that help people understand the significance of “working with a system of transactions that are immutable, irrefutable.”

The Seam Further Expands Agriculture Software Ecosystem with Peanut Partnership

The Seam, a leading provider of agribusiness software and trading solutions, today announced a new multi-year agreement with a major peanut shelling organization for its growing commodity management platform.

The Seam’s platform is designed with foundational technology, including document digitization, real-time data for decision-making and embedded integration with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), EWR, Inc., and Georgia Federal-State Inspection Service, among others. The platform is being further extended for sales and shelled goods, for which industry collaboration workshops will begin in the coming weeks.

“Launched only nine months ago, our cloud-based platform has been transformational for participating shelling organizations, buying point businesses, producers and manufacturers,” said Mark Pryor, Chairman and CEO of The Seam. “The need for industry efficiency through modern technology is paramount, and we are thrilled to deliver it while welcoming new shelling organizations into our growing peanut software network.”

“The need for industry efficiency through modern technology is paramount, and we are thrilled to deliver it while welcoming new shelling organizations into our growing peanut software network. -” Mark Pryor, Chairman and CEO of The Seam

The platform delivers a cloud-based hub for shelling organizations to interconnect with affiliate businesses and producers, providing real-time status and value of stock, contracting, farm analysis, grading data interchange and logistics management. Additionally, illustrative dashboards, position reporting, warehouse receipt management and system-guided workflows create streamlined processes, which result in more productive, collaborative and cost-effective operations.

The Seam offers multi-commodity solutions, providing corporate visibility and an integrated dashboard for teams on a global scale, as well as enabling organizations to adjust their business operations much more quickly to capitalize on market opportunities.

About The Seam
The Seam was founded by leading global agribusiness companies and specializes in commodity trading and management systems. In December 2000, it began operating the world’s first completely online, anonymous exchange for cotton trading. Since that time, the company has leveraged its software and application development expertise in agriculture to expand into other commodity segments, including peanuts, grains and dairy. As a proven leader in the agritech and fintech space, The Seam has cleared or processed more than $8 billion through its platforms. For more information, visit www.theseam.com.

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