Le Sicilian blood oranges are one of the many specialties of the Italian agri-food sector that are victims of forgery. A problem that has become increasingly pressing over the past few years, subtracting valuable market shares from the Made in Italy sector.
Precisely for this reason, the Italian institutions have finally decided to take action, flanking companies in a struggle made complicated also by rather brainy decisions, such as those taken in the EU. Among the solutions that could prove to be decisive in this sense, there is also the blockchain.
The alliance between blockchain and Sicilian blood oranges
Sicilian blood oranges will soon be traceable. This will be made possible by the use of a blockchain solution that has been developed by the IGP Blood Oranges of Sicily consortium in collaboration with Living soul.
The news was recently launched HANDLE, which has taken up a recent announcement by the Ministry of Agricultural, Food and Forestry Policies. The blockchain solution adopted, called RED (Red Orange Upgradeing Green Economy), will have the task of recording the origin, the characteristics of the fruits and the transport data, in order to facilitate customs clearance and follow their path along the entire supply chain.
The initiative will also be attended by the University of Catania and the CREA research body and consumers will be able to verify the real origin of the oranges using a mobile app.
The reasons for the initiative
Blood oranges are one of the most famous products in our agricultural sector. Precisely for this reason they are subject to an increasingly evident counterfeiting, carried out for example by selling as coming from Sicily fruits that instead come from South Africa.
To prevent this from happening, the mechanism set up provides for theaffixing of NFC labels (Near Field Communication) to the boxes where the oranges are crammed. The data contained in the labels will concern the source, the date of collection and the methods of conservation and distribution. The start of the project is expected at the same time as the next harvest season.
Damage to producers and consumers
Has been Giovanni Selvaggi, President of the PGI Consortium Blood Aranges of Sicily, to affirm in the margins of the event that introduced the initiative to affirm how counterfeits and fraud represent not only a loss for producers, but also harm to the consumer, deprived of the possibility of having a high quality product such as the Sicilian blood orange PGI. A quality demonstrated by the fact that during the year it managed to enter the Chinese market and that, consequently, it must be fully protected.
Blockchain and food, an increasingly popular combination
It should be stressed that the binomial between blockchain and food is proving to be increasingly profitable. Just think of the decision in this sense of Carrefour, who used the technology IBM Food Trust in order to trace a series of products marketed within its stores, starting from meat.
Also Albert Heijn, a Dutch large-scale retailer, launched a blockchain project over the past year to trace the origin of its orange juice. While the Thai government has announced a plan to track its organic jasmine rice, which should later be extended to other agricultural products.