ICA Singapore Speaker Spotlight

The Seam‘s Chairman and CEO, Mark Pryor, will present at ICA Singapore this October. Mark was recently featured in the association’s Speaker Spotlight, which highlighted his previous work and achievements.

Below are a few of Mark’s words. Check out the full article here.

The ICA’s annual trade event truly represents borderless diversity gathered around a common thread. Software technology is becoming a vital part of the overall strategy for efficiency, traceability and trading opportunities. It’s an honour to be given the opportunity to present new innovations that weave into the future of a business collaborative, global cotton supply chain.

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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 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 to form Cotton Blockchain Consortium with IBM on Hyperledger Fabric

MEMPHIS, Tenn., January 5, 2017 – The Seam, a commodities trading and agribusiness software provider, today announced that it is forming a blockchain consortium for the global cotton industry. Working with IBM (NYSE:IBM), the company intends to lead an industry-wide collaboration initiative to create a supply chain and trading ecosystem built on IBM blockchain technology, specifically using the Hyperledger Fabric.

A blockchain is a secure, distributed and immutable digital ledger 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.

“This new technology will be transformational for the cotton industry,” said Mark Pryor, Chairman and CEO of The Seam. “There are numerous organizations, processes, systems and transactions involved from field to fabric. Situated at the intersection of agriculture, finance and technology, The Seam with the help of IBM, is uniquely positioned to introduce blockchain technology to cotton-affiliated businesses worldwide.”

The Seam has a successful history of innovation. In 2000, the company began operating the world’s first online, neutral trading exchange for cotton, on which tens of millions of bales have been traded and cleared on its platforms. In September 2016, The Seam launched a cloud-based commodity management system for the peanut industry, the first of its kind.

Blockchain technology encourages broad involvement with the benefits of a network effect, whereby a service becomes more valuable the more participation it has. IBM will play a key role in driving global adoption, with its digital footprint in all cotton producing and consuming regions.

“Blockchain offers enormous potential to drive innovation throughout the cotton industry,” said Arvind Krishna, Senior Vice President, IBM Research. “A consortium approach using IBM Blockchain and the Hyperledger Fabric can help create greater efficiency and serve as the foundation of a robust system for massive collaboration.”

The ownership group of The Seam includes renowned cotton leaders Calcot, Cargill, ECOM Agroindustrial Corporation Ltd., EWR, Inc., Louis Dreyfus Company, Olam International, Parkdale Mills, Plains Cotton Cooperative Association and Staple Cotton Cooperative Association.

To learn more about the consortium, visit www.theseam.com/blockchain.