Today Fresh Del Monte Produce announced it invested in Decapolis, a blockchain food traceability startup, acquiring a 39% stake.
Together the companies plan to roll out Decapolis Food Guard across all Fresh Del Monte, starting with its pineapple operations in Costa Rica. Products will contain QR codes enabling consumers to see the entire history of the produce from farm to fork. Additionally, the aim is to provide the solution to other businesses.
Typically providing consumer information on the sustainable sourcing of food is just one traceability application. It also helps to monitor the supply chain, for food recalls and quality analysis. Because blockchain’s are usually immutable, the data is more trustworthy, but it can’t certify that the addition of the data is accurate in the first place. For that, there needs to be inspections or sensors.
“Now more than ever, consumers are very cognizant of what goes into their food,” said Mohammad Abu-Ghazaleh, Fresh Del Monte Chairman and CEO. “With this blockchain technology, they’ll know exactly what has gone into the product, and where it has traveled until the moment it was purchased for consumption.”
While Decapolis incorporated in the UK last year, all the directors are based in Jordan. It says it has 20 global partners since launching its pilot.
Fresh Del Monte is an independent entity from Del Monte Foods which focuses on canned and frozen produce. The fresh food part was sold off in 1998 and uses the Del Monte brand under license.
Meanwhile, blockchain food traceability was one of the first real world use cases to gain significant adoption. After Nestle and Walmart adopted the technology, IBM Food Trust gained a huge amount of attention. But there are plenty of others with solutions, including Ripe.io, SAP, OpenSC, FoodLogiQ, GrainChain, WholeChain, and TE-Food, to name just a few.