Platform for tracing perishable goods

Platform for tracing perishable goods

Sector: Agriculture and food

Aplicación: Traceability

Empresa: Vottun

There are several issues affecting the food supply chain, such as the possibility of a food product becoming contaminated, product spoilage, storage conditions and transport. To ensure that perishable foodstuffs are delivered in a suitable condition for consumption, strict regulations must be followed.  

The complexity of the food industry and the many intermediaries involved in it make it difficult to implement traceability systems. Food traceability is the ability to trace food throughout every stage of production, processing and distribution, so that the source of a food safety problem, should one occur, can be identified.  

The industry is faced with a major challenge: to ensure that all the information produced during the administration process, which involves many administrative tasks, manual processes, paper documents, regulatory requirements and audits, is available to all with sufficient quality, maintaining the consistency of the information through secure and updated access thereto and guaranteeing access to all stakeholders on equal terms.  

Vottun has created a platform to enable product traceability by providing end consumers with a blockchain-based data history, including product origin, manufacturing processes, handling and transport conditions. The solution is interoperable across various public and private networks since it is deployed on blockchain networks of both types: Ethereum, Hyperledger Fabric, Alastria member networks (Quorum and Hyperledger Besu) and Oracle. 

Vottun is a start-up that offers traceability and certification solutions using blockchain technology, helping companies to be more efficient and transparent in their business processes. In just two short years, the company has garnered several awards, including Best Innovation BNEW 2020. It was also recognised by GARTNER in its Hype Curve 2020 for technologies to watch and ranked number one in the Spanish government’s NEOTEC ranking. 

The use of blockchain technology reduces cases of food fraud, as it obliges those involved in the process to correctly document information and more closely trace products throughout the chain. The developed platform ensures security and confidence in the implementation of traceability systems for perishable products, as it produces evidence that can be used to trace the information produced along the supply chain, all the way from farm to fork. 

The agri-food companies BIMBO, Caladero, Borges Aceites, PWC, Fish World Track, the Eden Fresh fruit consortium, Huevos Montsoliu and Calconut are now using Vottun’s traceability platform.  

Why blockchain? 

The moment information is validated, it is recorded in the blockchain ledger and cannot be removed or altered, thus providing evidence of its accuracy and integrity. Furthermore, by using smart contracts, the platform makes it possible to automatically manage which users have access to which operations and information. This, in turn, makes it possible to automate authorisations and ensure the confidentiality of information.   

The use of blockchain provides a single, true source of information, reduces errors and eliminates data manipulation, increasing trust between stakeholders. Any change in the data is immediately identified by the system. The fact that data are unalterable allows us to perform historical data checks and ensure data integrity.  

With a single source of verified data that is accepted by everyone involved in the process and verification systems set up between information senders and receivers, any disagreements or conflicts of interest are resolved immediately. Plus, automating these procedures and making them available to users reduces the time spent consulting and consolidating information and also directly cuts down on the associated costs, as no personal or additional effort is required to confirm information.  

How it works 

The platform is ready for use by customers of all sizes. It is very straightforward and does not involve complex integrations or systems. The process is as follows:   

1) The supplier inputs the data and process flow of the product to be traced on the platform, generating a code or credential.  

2) At each stage in the supply chain, the supplier adds the product flow data, which are recorded in the blockchain ledger.  

3) The customer can verify the product traceability data using their smartphone or online with the QR code.  

This offers processes the advantages of blockchain technology and simplifies the decision as to which type of blockchain network to use, whether public or private. Accordingly, companies can focus on developing and optimising the specific logic of their business and leave the management of the technology in the hands of the Vottun protocol. 

One of the features offered by the Vottun protocol is interoperability between different blockchains, facilitating the exchange of data between different networks in a way that is transparent to the user. This interoperability between blockchains goes so far as to make it possible to decide which blockchain network should be responsible for certifying information for each type of business transaction, and there is also the possibility of cross-referencing data between blockchains.