News Supply chain

Italy launches blockchain platform to track Sicilian Red Oranges

red sicilian oranges

Italy’s Sicilian Red Oranges will soon be traceable using a blockchain solution developed by Blood Oranges of Sicily IGP Consortium and information technology company AlmavivA.

According to Italian news agency ANSA, the announcement was made at an event backed by Italy’s Ministry of Agricultural, Food and Forestry Policies. The blockchain platform dubbed as ROUGE (Red Orange Upgrading Green Economy) will record the origin, characteristics of the fruit and transportation data for easy customs clearance.

The consortium aims to battle counterfeit products by securing the traceability of red oranges, also called blood oranges, with blockchain. Over 50% of the total blood orange produce in Italy comes from Sicily. Previously, in a seizure of counterfeit agri-products, it was found that batches of oranges coming from South Africa were being passed off as IGP Blood Oranges.

Additionally, research body CREA and the University of Catania will be participating in the ROUGE initiative. The traceability platform will capture data from the portal used by the consortium and its member companies. Consumers can track the provenance of the oranges by using a mobile app.

Crates carrying the fruit will have NFC (Near-field communication) tags attached which will pull up data regarding the source, date of harvesting, and the conservation and distribution methods. ROUGE will be implemented for the upcoming harvesting season.

“Counterfeits and frauds represent damage to the consumer and is a loss for the producers. The platform was created to protect the IGP Sicilian Red Orange and the exportation of this unique product to the world which, this year, has also reached the Chinese market,” said Giovanni Selvaggi, President of Blood Oranges of Sicily IGP Consortium.

Blockchain for food traceability is becoming an increasingly popular use case. Last year Dutch supermarket Albert Heijn launched a blockchain project to trace the provenance of its Orange juice.

The Thai government announced it would use blockchain for tracking agricultural products, starting with a pilot for its organic jasmine rice.

A month ago, VeChain, along with a few Chinese partners announced the Yunnan Pu’er Tea Traceability Platform.

IBM’s Food Trust is trialling blockchain for various products and has many high profile members, including Nestle and Carrefour.

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