On 27 August 2020, VeriTAG, a Singaporean cloud-based smart tagging firm, announced its partnership with the Singapore Food Agency (SFA) and Singapore Technologies Engineering. To tackle South-East Asia’s food safety crises, the partnership aims to create a comprehensive blockchain-based food safety system.
VeriTAG’s food export platform VeriHUB is developed using NULS’ blockchain and TradeTrust. TradeTrust was created by SG Digital, a branch of Singapore’s InfoComm Media Development Authority, to provide governance, legal frameworks and standards using distributed ledger technology. VeriTAG also introduces veri$HOP, a blockchain-based loyalty program. By combining the two initiatives, it aims to enable complete end-to-end food transparency, from manufacturing to sales.
A core developer of NULS, Mario Blacutt, remarked about how this partnership indicates how blockchain can ‘truly be a conduit for social good.’
The mishandling of food traceability can have devasting consequences for both the public and the company responsible. For example, leafy greens were found to be the source of numerous E. coli outbreaks in the United States. Walmart has since asked all of their leafy greens suppliers to implement blockchain traceability and can now tracks and traces every bag.
China has also started experimenting with blockchain for food traceability. Guangzhou city’s Market Supervision Bureau launched an agricultural product traceability platform earlier this year, and China is even working with Danone’s Track & Connect service, targeting baby formula traceability.
South-East Asia struggles with food contamination. The WHO estimates the region accounts for 150 million illnesses and 175 thousand deaths each year. VeriTAG’s CEO Jason Lim, while making plans to showcase VeriTAG’s newest project at the Smart China Expo this September, is optimistic that the partnership can provide a ‘tangible, creative solution’ to the very critical issue of food safety in South-East Asia.