Easy communication of data and documents within the
coffee supply chain requires certain standards for contracts and contract
amendments, pricing, optional conditions, declarations and so on. Standards are
also needed for the electronic documents for contract execution, such as sample
and delivery orders, bills of lading, warehouse receipts and warrants.
Electronic standards have been developed for the
United States coffee industry in collaboration with the membership of the Green
Coffee Association (GCA), the National Coffee Association (NCA) and
InterContinental Exchange (ICE) - previously the New York Board of Trade
(NYBOT). These use XML (extensible mark-up language) format so both humans and
computers can read them, and to allow electronic transfer and integration into
back-office systems (straight through processing). The GCA electronic contract
was formally launched on 23 July 2001, and includes additional options: price
fix letter, price fix rolling letter, and a destination declaration letter.
The technology provides both simplification and an optimal number of choices when creating a contract, transmitting a
delivery order or shipment advice, or presenting a commercial set of