The trade in coffee would not be possible without
security, some form of common ground and the effective, neutral resolution of
disputes. The existing trade execution system has been developed and fine-tuned
over many decades: electronic systems will have to satisfy the same concerns and
meet if not surpass the same standards to address the new issues arising from
the use of electronic documents.
In the paperless chain, security will primarily be
provided by the legal framework, exactly as is the case with SWIFT, CHIPS,
Identrus and others.
Common ground will be provided by the multilateral
contract, with the main operator acting as trustee for the entire operation. As
in the traditional coffee trade, rules and regulations will have to be clearly
defined and would preferably be overseen by the system users themselves, coming
together rather as the coffee trade comes together in the GCA or ECF.