Cho To Employ Blockchain To Fight Against Fraud In Oil Sector
Blockchain is a transaction tracking system designed to provide business owners, customers, or any other entity utilizing the technology, to efficiently trace any transaction or product from the time of its creation to its final destination.
Users of the technology, in this case, CHO, enter their information into “blocks,” which are then inserted into an online ledger – finally chaining them together. Blocks can only be added into the chain, not removed, thus retaining the information available and safe for review and transparency.
“Once we enter all the information, we cannot change it,” Rekik said. “So we are holding ourselves accountable, and that’s one of the biggest parts of that veil of trust.”
In the case of Terra Delyssa, the technology will allow customers to scan a QR code that will inform them where the bottle that is in their hands was packaged, when and where the olives that manufactured its oil were harvested and when the finished product was dispatched.
“When [the consumers] scan the bottle, it will show them the region, where the olives were harvested, when they were crushed, when the oil was filtered, when it was packaged and when it was analyzed for shipment,” said Rekik.
However, the quality tests are not only intended for the customers. CHO has made a separate part of the blockchain data accessible individually to distributors that will bestow all the information stated above as well as give “access to the actual certificate of analysis,” according to Rekik.
Blockchain technology is a complicated method to put into practice, mainly when there are several different steps to track when harvesting olives and moving them into olive oil, the tracking of so many distinct levels was a red flag for some providers of the technology.
“Some providers (of blockchain) made it sound like it is not going to happen in this decade; it is so complicated that an olive oil producer cannot implement it,” Rekik said. “IBM managed really to make it easy.”
The whole process produces eight total checkpoints that the blockchain will register: when the olives were picked, crushed, milled, and filtered, and once the oil has been examined before storage, the date of storage, when it is bottled, and the investigation after bottling.
Rekik believes that, in the future, CHO will be able to give all this data to leading distributors, such as Whole Foods or Target, where the consumer will be able to see it while buying their product.
The move shows the olive oil industry’s growing realization that food fraud, olive oil contamination, and a brand’s handling of the two issues will be an essential part of a company’s success moving forward.
“I do not want to be the one endorsing that the olive industry is full of adulteration,” Rekik said. “I can only acknowledge that there is big negative media attention around it… and we believe that this is going to be the way to go, this will be the future; you’re going to have to show the consumer where you did it, and how you did it.”