Seventy-nine percent of consumers believe it’s important for brands to provide guaranteed authenticity, according to a recent IBM and the National Retail Federation survey. Fifty-seven percent are willing to change their purchasing habits to help reduce environmental harm.

Clearly, in a crowded market where brand differentiation is essential, food brands can benefit by informing consumers of the supply chain behind their products to certify their authenticity and sustainability.

How blockchain can certify the food chain

That’s what we at Food Italiae aimed to achieve for our locally produced Food Italiae line. Starting with the Aliveris brand of organic, certified and patented non-GMO pasta, the idea was to inform consumers at the retail point of sale about the sustainable way we manage our supply chain from farm to table. By exceeding legal requirements in reporting, we help differentiate Aliveris from other brands whose labels provide few useful details.

The answer was engaging IBM Business Partner SAS Informatica to develop a transparency solution based on the IBM Food Trust. Powered by blockchain technology from IBM Cloud, the Food Trust is an agrifood ecosystem that links growers, suppliers, processors, retailers and others to create a safer, trusted and more sustainable food system around the world.

Authenticity from farm to table

The Aliveris Food Trust solution offers a shared record of supply chain transactions from seeds to store. Wheat farmers enter data about cultivation egg growers post their methods, mills and processors describe production steps, retailers note delivery dates. Supply chain participants can post quality tests, sustainability audits and other certifications that validate freshness and authenticity.

The beauty of the system is that the information is available to all stakeholders, including retail customers. Scanning in the QR code on each Aliveris package brings up full origin and supply chain data. Thus, consumers can learn everything about the pasta in the box while they shop—boosting confidence in our brand and differentiating it from competitors.

Retailers, too, can use this feature. As an example, buyers at Food Trust members Walmart and Carrefour can evaluate the supply chain when considering brands to carry. And our managers can query the Food Trust to discover real-time insights, such as a too-low stock or a break in production.

Expansion into the UFC multibrand regional consortium

The Aliveris solution is so promising that we’re expanding it into a multibrand consortium to promote the Umbrian region. Called the Umbria Food Cluster (UFC), it will offer Food Italiae brands plus those of other local providers. The first new members include: durum wheat producer Molitoria Umbra, organic EVO farm I Potti de Fratini, and cereal, legume and flour producer Agribosco.

Our developers will create a UFC-branded ecommerce marketplace with supply chain transparency powered by the IBM Food Trust. Consortium members are excited about being able to certify their products’ quality, sustainability and complete made-in-Umbria origin. So, consumers can enjoy our products knowing they are authentic, healthy and sustainable.

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