Why UK almond supplier is implementing blockchain tech

By Rod Addy contact

- Last updated on GMT

Carvalho: 'We can give the consumer full sight of their products’ journey from orchard to plate'
Carvalho: 'We can give the consumer full sight of their products’ journey from orchard to plate'

Related tags: Supply chain, Technology & Automation

Veracruz Almonds is boosting traceability by implementing blockchain technology at its estates in Idanha-a-Nova and Fundão, Portugal in preparation for expanding its exports to distributors and suppliers in the UK and Europe.

The technology, which collates interlinked data on vital factors, will enable Veracruz to monitor the entire lifecycle of their production process, from sowing seeds and harvesting, to processing and distribution, providing end-to-end traceability for suppliers, retailers and consumers. 

Part of Veratech – the Veracruz Group’s technology company – the system currently records data around consumption, trees, water, batches, and harvests.  

When it opens a €15.3m factory opens next year, Veracruz will start collecting data on the processing of their blanched, matchstick and flour varieties. This data will then be used to improve production, measure impacts and anticipate problems during the production process.

Transparent supply chain

Packaging, transport and distribution will be the next step, with the ultimate goal of making the extensive and complex almond supply chain transparent and traceable to consumers via a simple QR code on product packaging. 

The information will enable Veracruz to measure a series of parameters individually and compare it with different times of the year to speed up its reaction and decision-making process.   

Veracruz founder and chief executive David Carvalho said: “Technology has the power to transform the food sector, and over the next five years we plan to invest over €6m in innovative tech that will enable us to use our resources even more effectively, while drastically reducing waste.  

“Blockchain offers unprecedented new opportunities for smart food traceability, transparency and safety. Specifically in almond growing - where crops are open to uncontrollable variables, such as weather, water scarcity, and pests – it has the potential to solve some of the industry’s biggest challenges.

Blockchain

“By maximising the power of blockchain to boost traceability at every stage of the production and distribution process, we can give the consumer full sight of their products’ journey from orchard to plate, which is becoming an increasingly important part of the purchasing process.” 

Veracruz has also recently formed a partnership with Aerobotics, a company set up in South Africa, which captures and processes aerial images in farming, using artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms.  

This system makes it possible to automatically detect which trees have been planted, count and compare those that are living and dead, and analyse if the trees are healthy. In 2022, Veracruz plans to fly over their farms every two weeks, which will allow information to be collected, and detailed reports to be drawn up, to provide accuracy on the health of the sector.  

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