Strategic Partners

CHO taps IBM for product tracking and tracing

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CHO, one of the largest producers of olive oil in the southern Mediterranean, and IBM today announces that CHO is using IBM Blockchain to provide traceability for its Terra Delyssa extra virgin olive oil across eight quality assurance checkpoints, including the orchard where the olives were grown, the mill where olives were crushed, and the facilities where the oil was filtered, bottled, distributed, and more.

Starting with its most recent harvest now being bottled, customers of Terra Delyssa retailers around the world will be able to scan a QR-code on each label, allowing them to view a provenance record. By detailing each step of the product’s journey, consumers can gain peace of mind about the origins of their olive oil and richer insight into its journey and quality checkpoints, and even view images of the fields where the olives were grown. CHO is the latest major food provider to join IBM Food Trust – a permissioned blockchain network that provides a more efficient way of working across the food supply chain for growers, processors, shippers, retailers, regulators, and consumers.

Terra Delyssa, a leading brand known for its transparency and unique smooth flavor profile, is grown in CHO’s pesticide-free orchards with 320 days of sun, is first cold-pressed under the highest standards for quality and is made entirely from a single source. The company has already begun using Food Trust to manage and record traceability efforts for its extra virgin line, the highest grade of olive oil as classified by the International Olive Oil Council and the USDA.

Media coverage of olive oil mislabeling and illicit counterfeit olive oil operations, plus the general confusion about how olive oils are blended, are driving consumer distrust. And even for products where there is less confusion, today’s consumers still say they demand authenticity and transparency: A recent IBM Institute for Business Value study found 73 percent of consumers will pay a premium for full transparency into the products they buy. Using blockchain technology creates a meticulous, verifiable record of where each bottle of olive oil was produced and the methods used. This information can then be shared in near real-time with distributors, retailers, and other permissioned members of the company’s supply chain.

“Our families have been olive farmers and olive oil millers for generations. We created Terra Delyssa with a unique, smooth flavor profile to be the ambassador of Tunisian olive oil,” said Wajih Rekik, CEO of CHO America. “With Food Trust, we believe we are among the first olive oil producers to use blockchain to provide our consumers a window into each step that goes into making our olive oil so exceptional.”

Blockchain technology enables greater trust across the supply chain by creating a permanent, digitized chain of transactions that cannot be altered. Olive farmers, millers, distributors and retailers alike can all interact more efficiently using near-real-time access to comprehensive product data. Consumers can be provided access to detailed information traced to the blockchain about the origins of the products they consume.

“This is yet another example of Food Trust’s commitment to strengthening the food system from farm to table,” said Raj Rao, General Manager IBM Food Trust. “In terms of food provenance, olive oil presents a difficult challenge, as the product must work its way from an olive grove to an international base of retailers while retaining its purity and freshness. Thanks to Food Trust, information about the origin and purity of the product can be made available in near real-time for both consumers and CHO’s distribution partners.”

For distributors and retailers, a separate enterprise application using blockchain will enable them to access in-depth information about each processing and control stage of production, including that it was first press, extra virgin, organic, all using analysis from CHO’s IOC accredited laboratory and 3rd party auditors.

Since harvest began in November, data about Terra Delyssa lots is already being uploaded to the distributed ledger, and Terra Delyssa’s fully traceable extra virgin olive oil is currently being bottled and expected to reach store shelves at major retailers in the U.S., Canada, France, Germany, Denmark, and Japan by March.

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