Last week, Plasmon the Italian baby food subsidiary of Kraft Heinz, signed a deal with the Ministry of Agricultural, Food, Forestry and Tourism Policies (MIPAAFT) to enhance food safety for children. Part of the agreement is to explore the use of blockchain for food traceability. The project will work agricultural research institute Crea which is part of MIPAAFT .
Food traceability is just one aspect of a broader deal. It includes using a stamp to verify the quality and safety of children’s food. Additionally, the organizations want to promote “Made in Italy” and the adoption of a Mediterranean diet in the first 1,000 days of a child’s life.
“Thanks also to Crea’s involvement in the Plasmon protocol, we will provide innovative systems and solutions in the research field, from precision agriculture to traceability even with blockchain technology,” said MIPAAFT’s Gian Marco Centinaio (via Google Translate). “We want to protect producers and consumers more and more.”
Unrelated to Kraft Heinz, traceability for baby food has been a significant issue in some parts of the world, particularly China. In 2008 problems with baby milk resulted in the deaths of six babies from kidney damage and the hospitalization of 54,000.
Earlier this month Reuters reported that Kraft Heinz plans to sell Plasmon. The division has revenues of around $200 million, but the bulk of its business is in Italy. The Kraft Heinz group wants to focus on global brands.
While many major brands were involved in the IBM Food Trust food traceability initiative, Kraft Heinz was not announced as a member, despite being an IBM client for other services. In October last year, Kraft Heinz set up a $100 million venture capital fund called Evolv to invest in emerging technologies.
The fund’s head Bill Pescatello said at the time: “At Evolv Ventures, we will move beyond brands to have a committed first look at our industry’s most promising and disruptive tech-enabled companies. With the insights, data and access available at Kraft Heinz, we look to take full advantage of our unique position and be the foremost value-added investor in the space.”
In April the fund made its first investment in GrubMarket a platform designed to deliver produce direct from farmers to consumers.