Italian Ministry of Agriculture To Implement Blockchain Technology
The Italian Ministry of Agriculture declared this week that it’d apply blockchain technology, an intricate digital verification technique that aids cryptocurrencies to guarantee that all blood-red Sicilian oranges traded overseas as such are the real things. It will use this cutting edge technology to ensure the authenticity of the country’s commercial products.
The oranges that have an orange-color skin and deep red flesh inside the fruit hold a preserved geographical status in Italy, comparable to particular high-end cheese and wines. The oranges are shipped to dozens of countries across the globe.
The blood-red oranges are cultivated in bulk in Italy. Still, they are not novel to the country, according to Elena Albertini, vice-president of the Sicilian red orange protection consortium.
“There’s a unique characteristic to the Sicilian red oranges, which have a special balance between sweetness and acidity,” Albertini told Xinhua. “There’s a risk that other oranges grown elsewhere, which have the red flesh but a different overall taste and quality, could be sold internationally as if they were the authentic Sicilian product.”
Blockchain would help safeguard that. Each package of the products, which vary in size from 500 grams to 5 kilograms or more, would hold a particular blockchain “tag” that will record every step of the package’s passage from farm to market.
“Soon, we will know where the oranges are at any point on the supply chain,” Albertini said.
According to Antonio Amati, director of the Italy division for Almaviva, a technology consultancy, the blockchain “tag” will help control the conditions under which the oranges are being stored, growth during the transportation of the fruit, and ripeness. But most importantly, Amati said, they will help ensure that the authentic product arrives for consumers.
“By using blockchain technology it will make it impossible for oranges from a different area and of a different quality to slip into the system and to be sold as if they were the authentic Sicilian blood-red orange product,” Amati said in an interview.
“This process is already being used for some products like high-end wines or the best olive oils. This will put the Sicilian oranges on the same level in terms of the consumer’s ability to be secure; they are buying the authentic product.”
The Italian authorities revealed the plan in a special event held on Dec. 12 in Rome. Amati said the new systems would be fully used by Feb. 1, 2020.
“We are creating a comprehensive system for the Sicilian red oranges that over some time will become more common for many different types of higher-end products,” Amati said.